March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!
By Allyson McAndrews, M.Ed., Director of Marketing and Outreach
In 1987, President Ronald Regan officially recognized the month of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM)! Since then, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) has teamed up with various partners to educate the public on the importance of inclusion, as well as to bring attention to the obstacles that still exist for individuals living with disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines developmental disabilities as “a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas” and often begin during a child’s early developmental period. Such disabilities include learning and intellectual disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), hearing loss, and vision impairment.
Over 6 million people in the United States have developmental disabilities. In children under the age of 18, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 6 have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays that impact their daily lives. These statistics emphasize the importance of DDAM and its efforts to educate, unite, and promote inclusion within our communities. The theme for DDAM 2023 is “Beyond the Conversation”, which stresses the importance of taking actual steps to break the barriers that still exist. The Administration for Community Living states, “With this theme, NACDD plans to highlight change and innovation – what individuals and communities are doing to move past discussions and take action on education, employment, accessibility, and more.” Throughout March, people are encouraged to join the movement by getting involved and educating themselves through the various events and webinars that are being offered by NACDD and its partners.
Here at McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan P.C., we have been advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and their families for over 40 years. Our nationally recognized firm has been involved in special education matters and disability law since its inception, and our team of dedicated attorneys have hundreds of years of combined experience practicing law. Several of our attorneys and staff also have advanced degrees in education, psychology, and more. We are committed to providing access to exceptional legal services to deserving families regardless of the ability to pay. If you have questions about your child’s educational rights in school, do not hesitate to contact our office by clicking here or calling 610-648-9300. Our firm provides free consultations in all special education and damages matters, and most cases are handled without charge to families. Families should not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Administration for Community Living
#DDawareness2023 #DDAM2023 #BeyondTheConversation #DevelopmentalDisabilities