Group of staff and Day Habilitation program consumers decorating a thank you banner for people who support the program.Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

By Jess Maiuro
Marketing and Development Assistant

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month takes place in March every year. While we advocate and provide services for people all year round, this month marks a time for us to come together to really put a spotlight on awareness about developmental disabilities and promote inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that can affect a person’s physical, cognitive, or emotional development. They can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both. Some common examples of developmental disabilities include autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy.

During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we’re reminded of how far we’ve come with breaking through stigmas about people with disabilities and also how much work there is ahead to promote understanding and acceptance of people with developmental disabilities. This includes advocating for their rights, providing education and resources, and promoting inclusion in schools, workplaces, and communities. If you or someone you know is experiencing a barrier in your community, we want to hear from you. You can fill out a report, and our Advocacy Team can help remedy the situation.

Image Description: Group of individuals from the Home Care Mixer Event, including Personal Aides and Consumers, standing in front of a black and gold banner, smiling and looking happy to be with their friendsAs our 2024 focus here at Independent Living Inc. is advocacy for Fair Pay, let us also acknowledge home healthcare aides and the significant role they play in the lives of those they care for with disabilities. Aides, also known as personal home assistants, provide a range of services to people with developmental disabilities, including assistance with daily living activities, medication management, transportation to appointments, and emotional support. These aides play a vital role in improving the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities by helping them maintain independence, fostering socialization, and leading with compassion. Without their assistance, individuals could face being removed from their homes and institutionalized.

By raising awareness about developmental disabilities, we can help break down barriers and create a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. So let’s take the time to learn more about developmental disabilities and work towards a world where everyone is valued and included.

Please check back soon for our next article where we discuss inclusion, accessibility and community with our Independent Living Direct Support Professionals and Community Independence Program participants.