The Arc to promote Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March

Published 10:23 am Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Arc of Mower County joins a network of 700-plus chapters of The Arc, including self-advocates, families and volunteers across the nation to mark Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March. The month will commemorate the progress toward improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and also highlight the challenges that remain in achieving full inclusion for people with I/DD.

The Arc’s advocacy led to President Ronald Reagan officially proclaiming March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In bringing I/DD to the forefront, the proclamation underscores the pride and the promise of this constituency in achieving the same dreams of every American. This national declaration generated renewed respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and increased awareness of the issues faced by this constituency and by their families.

The Presidential Proclamation states, “For many of these people with developmental disabilities there is now the prospect of a brighter future and greater opportunity.

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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.”

“The Arc of Mower County and the many volunteers in our community work each day to provide the necessary services and supports to ensure that people with I/DD are valued, contributing members of the community and fully included,” said Dawn Helgeson, Executive Director of The Arc of Mower County.

The Arc’s network of 700-plus chapters is on the frontlines of grassroots advocacy efforts and during the month of March, chapters will:

•Encourage people to get involved by volunteering or donating;

•Contact policy makers and legislators to speak out on issues impacting people with I/DD;

•Reach out to employers/businesses to hire people with I/DD;

•Spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, and more.

The Arc’s mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.