The Arc is banding together with its 700+ network of chapters across the nation to mark Developmental Disability (DD) Awareness Month in March. Powered by the energy of self-advocates, families and volunteers around the country, the month will commemorate the progress toward improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and stress the challenges that remain in achieving full inclusion for people with I/DD.
Nearly a quarter century ago, it was The Arc’s advocacy that spurred President Ronald Reagan to officially proclaim March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In bringing I/DD to the forefront, the proclamation underscores the pride and the promise of people with I/DD in achieving the same dreams of every American.
The presidential proclamation states, “For many of these people with developmental disabilities there is now the prospect of a brighter future and greater opportunity. Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities.”
Volunteers Hard at Work at The Arc Alliance
Tim and Daniel both volunteer here at The Arc Alliance weekly. They assist us with various office duties and are a valuable part of our team! Their latest job was to put together the March Awareness appeal that was sent out earlier this month. They helped fold, stamp, stuff and seal the entire mailing of over 2,500 pieces. In addition to Tim and Daniel a student from Spring-Ford High School also helped seal all the envelopes. It was a big job and they did a great job from start to finish! When the job was completed we celebrated with a pizza and wings lunch. Everyone had a great time.
Please take a few minutes a review the ten ways you can help spread the news about Intellectual and Developmental Awareness month below.
With the help of volunteers such as Tim, Daniel, and Chandler The Arc Alliance has created an appeal to inform people that the month of March is about more than just College Basketball; this month serves as a time to celebrate the progress and expand public awareness about Intellectual and Developmental Disability’s. With just a single click of a button people are now able to spread the word about I/DD Month, and hopefully help organizations such as The Arc Alliance raise money to continue supporting and impacting the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the entire year.
This year The Arc Alliance has set their goal high and are attempting to raise $15,000 in honor of I/DD Month. Since 1987 when Ronald Reagan officially declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month we have seen people with I/DD become fully functioning members of their communities. Now people living with I/DD are working, pursuing higher educations, developing their faith, falling in love, and making their voices hear loud and clear, as is evident through the support and hard work of our volunteers here at the Arc Alliance. However, there is always a great deal more to be accomplished, and with your help we can make that difference.
Whether you simply spread the word or make a tax deductible gift to this cause, please pay tribute to someone you know with an intellectual or developmental disability during this month. Below you will find a list of 10 easy actions you can take to educate your community about I/DD Month.
Check out Chandler Balch’s weekly blog! Chandler is a sixteen year old who attends Spring-Ford High School. Chandler has Cerebral Palsy and has been blogging his experience over this past fall and now this spring. Chandler is a bright and energetic teenager who enjoys working on his computer, blogging and creating Youtube videos. We have teamed up Chandler with a senior communications major from Ursinus College, Satchel Summers. Satchel is an intern with us and is mentoring Chandler through the spring semester. The two have done a great job and have produced great blogs! Follow chandlers blog as he describes what it takes to live, go to school and play while facing the issues around Cerebral Palsy.
I heard this interview while driving to work and found it both inspirational and touching. This story provides hope for many individuals with Downs Syndrome. Below is a section taken from the NPR website. Listen to the interview
In Albuquerque, N.M., there’s a restaurant called Tim’s Place. It’s named after Tim Harris, a young man with Down syndrome who started the business in 2010 with help from his dad, Keith.
Six days a week, Tim greets each customer at the door. He calls it the world’s friendliest restaurant.
The day Tim’s Place opened “felt awesome,” Tim, 27, tells his father on a visit to StoryCorps. “I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid. That was my dream.”
10 Simple ways you can make a difference in your community!
- Make a gift toward our March goal of $15,000 to help provide awareness and education on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in our community!Donate
- Post this as your status on Facebook at least once during March. March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Help me celebrate the contributions of all people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other disabilities by re-posting this as your status this month.
- Tweet this. March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Know someone with autism, Down syndrome, etc? Celebrate people!
- Listen and share. Follow The Arc Alliance on Facebook and Twitter and re-post our updates to your friends and followers. Become a fan onFacebook
- Tell us what you’re doing. Got a great idea to spread the word? Post your activities on our Facebook page. We’re listening!
- Write a blog post in March about someone you know with an intellectual or developmental disability and how they have inspired you. Encourage your blogger friends to do the same. Visit the Bolg and post!
- Invite The Arc to make a presentation to any groups or clubs you belong to, such as service clubs, church groups, or book clubs. We can customize our message to fit each group’s needs. Contact Scott Camilleri at (215) 527-5531, use your smart phone and contact us or email scamilleri@TheArcAlliance.org for more details.
- Take time to talk to your children that disability is natural. Encourage understanding, respect and friendships. Not sure how to answer a question yourself? Contact The Arc Alliance for ideas.
- Become a member of The Arc Alliance. Join with thousands of other individuals and families in the largest grassroots organization supporting individuals with I/DD!
- Contact your legislators and local policymakers to let them know you expect them to promote and enact policies that benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Connect here
Contact us today to see how you can become more involved!