Celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with These Activities

DD Awareness Month

Developmental disabilities can affect movement, learning, language and behavior. Autism spectrum disorder; ADHD; hearing loss; intellectual disability; learning disability; and vision loss are all examples of this set of disabilities which affect approximately 17 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 3 and 17.

Every March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities and its partners creates a social media campaign to promote the inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities.

According to NACDD, “the campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.”

This year’s campaign is branded with a logo created by Eileen Schofield, an artist from Art Enables, a studio in Washington D.C. Individuals and groups participating in Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month can download the logo for use in their local campaigns here. Make sure to use the hashtag #DDawareness2021 on any NACDD materials that are distributed.

NACDD is also creating a resource guide with information of interest to people with disabilities and their families. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit materials that they think should be included in the guide. “NACDD’s website lists the following examples of the materials they are seeking: videos, toolkits, news articles, photos, personal stories and promising practices. They can be submitted to Rafael Rolon-Muniz at rrolon-muniz@nacdd.org.

For the second year in a row, NACDD will showcase artwork created by individuals with disability as part of its campaign’s marketing assets.

Here are some additional ways to observe Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month:

1. Join New York State’s Office for People with Disabilities’ virtual Dance for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by making a video showing you or you and your friends and family dancing and send it to communications.office@opwdd.ny.gov. They’ll post it on their social media channels. Additionally, share your video on your own social media accounts using the hashtags #DanceforDDAM #DDAM2021 and #NYSOPWDD.

2. Wear a Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month ribbon. The blue and yellow ribbons can be purchased here. When people ask you what the ribbon means, be ready to provide valuable information about developmental disabilities and the need for inclusion throughout our society.

3. Donate money to an organization that provides services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Some examples: The Arc; Easter Seals; United Cerebral Palsy; Friendship Circle International.

4. Host a Spread the Word Inclusion Pledge Day event at your school or workplace by encouraging community members to pledge their support for inclusion. You can take the pledge by visiting spreadtheword.global/pledge.

5. Spread the Word also recommends starting a Best Buddies or Special Olympics club at your school.

6. Watch a webinar about developmental disabilities such as “Disability Advocates and Allies: Creating Inclusive Communities and Lasting Change with Xian Horn.” Register here.

7. Share stories about the accomplishments of people with developmental disabilities on your social media accounts.

8. Share photos and videos of people with developmental disabilities sharing their stories.