March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

The month of March is recognized as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, an opportunity to promote respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The purpose of the national recognition is also to raise awareness and educate others about the challenges and triumphs facing individuals with I/DD and their families.

Raising awareness through National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month provides the community the opportunity to see that individuals with I/DD are people with real, relatable stories. People with disabilities enjoy time with their loved ones, learning new things in school, challenging themselves at their places of employment and traveling the world.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In his proclamation he invited “all individual, agencies and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.

Many opportunities exist throughout communities to work and volunteer with someone who has an I/DD and, in the process, help raise awareness. Monarch, along with many partners, agencies and organizations across the country, strive to harness resources and collective power to gain allies, foster understanding, dispel myths and educate people without disabilities.

Disabilities come in a variety of forms. Some disabilities are visible such as a person who uses a wheelchair or crutches to ambulate, while other disabilities may not be easily recognized or seen by the eye such as cognitive challenges that affect the way a person speaks, learns, or interacts with others.

Our website features profiles of people we support who have made great strides to overcome I/DD. Each person profiled has exceeded their personal and professional goals, creating a plan and working toward a dream. To read more about the people we support, click on their inspirational stories below.