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Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is dedicated to spreading public awareness of the needs and the potential of individuals with developmental disabilities. It is also a chance to provide understanding, encouragement, and opportunities to help individuals with developmental disabilities. The OTC is committed to helping our clients achieve their full potential year-round, but we appreciate the opportunity to focus on those with developmental disabilities. We hope to assist in raising awareness of the barriers individuals face and the steps we should take to improve inclusivity in our communities. 

We must diligently support individuals with developmental disabilities this month and every month. They are valuable members of our communities, family, and friends. You can bring it Beyond the Conversation by actively showing your support this month.

What can you do to show your support?

  • Educate yourself! Many misconceptions about developmental disabilities can cause harm to individuals, so it is essential to get educated. A wide range of resources are available, such as the resource guide from the NACDD
  • Spread awareness! If a loved one or community member has a developmental disability, help them share their story in your community! Plus, you can share resources with your community.
  • Help make changes! You can help influence policies created both locally and on a large scale. Calling legislators, attending hearings, lobbying, and voting can make a difference.

What is a developmental disability?

Developmental disability is the broad term to describe a range of conditions that affect physical and/or mental functioning. For a condition to be considered a developmental disability, the manifestations or symptoms must be present in childhood years and expected to be present for life. Studies show about one in six children is diagnosed with one or more developmental disabilities.  Common developmental disabilities include intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

An abstract piece of artwork, depicting black leaf-like shapes with multicolored accents on a lime green background. Below the photo on an orange background reads "Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2023: Beyond the Conversation #DDAM2023"

This year’s featured art for DDAM, created by artist Jamila Rahimi from DC studio Art Enables.