If you follow ACT on social media, you know March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. On February 26, 1987, President Ronald Reagan started this month of observation with the following proclamation:
“Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1987 as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
I invite all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. I
urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”
Thirty-one years later, we should still appreciate what an incredible moment in history that was. Today, with great effort, advocacy and education, the attitude surrounding developmental disabilities has shifted toward inclusion and self-determination. But we still have work to do.
If you’d like a look-back at our posts from Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, check out #DDAwareness18 on Facebook and Twitter. We shared our activities, history, and many resources for individuals and families.