On March 6, 2018, the Calvert Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) proclaimed the month of March be known as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Calvert County. The proclamation lets it be known the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong and diverse communities. It emphasizes looking beyond someone’s disability and seeing them as a person.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to provide encouragement and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.
As those citizens began living within the general community in larger numbers, programs to provide career planning, job coaching and supported employment began to emerge. The idea that individuals with developmental disabilities could become productive members of the workforce was new to many people, and entrenched preconceptions had to be overcome. Advocates recognized a moral imperative to engage individuals with developmental – and other – disabilities. With passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, workplace discrimination against people with disabilities became sanctionable.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time to recognize the efforts made to achieve a culture of meaningful and full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, and to set forth its commitment to identify barriers and develop solutions.
This month we celebrate the many contributions people with developmental disabilities make to our society and in the 32 years since the first proclamation, we have made progress improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. Challenges still remain to providing full inclusion. Outreach and awareness provide the means for true inclusion and integration to become a reality and highlight the principle that everyone benefits when people with and without disabilities live, learn, and earn together in the community.
The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed that the month of March be known as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. By this action let it be known the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong and diverse communities.
The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed that by this action let it be known the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities will come together to form strong and diverse communities.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon