Montgomery, Ala. – March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Moving Towards Change,” which seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, and the work that remains to remove barriers to community living.
The awareness month officially began in 1987 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan, who helped to bring awareness and acceptance for people of every ability. To celebrate, the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) and the National Association of State Councils on Developmental Disabilities are shining a light on the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.
“Expanding the conversation of inclusion and accessibility is an integral part of ADMH’s daily work and an important component of the upcoming Community Waiver Program, person-centered planning and support coordination. We are proud to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Month and share success stories of the individuals we serve, along with our dedicated providers,” said Associate Commissioner of Developmental Disabilities Terry Pezent.
Developmental disabilities can include, but not limited to cerebral palsy, Autism spectrum disorder, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, or fetal alcohol syndrome and can affect a person’s growth and/or cognition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that nationally as of 2017, about one in six children were identified or diagnosed with a developmental disability.
Alabamians with developmental disabilities must have the opportunity to lead full lives, fostering independence and productivity in local communities, with access to supported employment, housing, education and recreation. ADMH is committed to helping people reach their full potential through meaningful connections.
To learn more about support for individuals with disabilities, please visit https://mh.alabama.gov/division-of-developmental-disabilities/.
About Us: The Alabama Department of Mental Health serves more than 200,000 Alabama citizens with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. Our mission is to Serve, Empower, and Support, and promote the health and well-being of Alabamians. Visit www.mh.alabama.gov for more information.