National DD Awareness Month began in 1987 through a proclamation issued by President Ronald Reagan. His intentions were to mark the month through activities and efforts directed toward increasing public awareness about the needs of Americans with developmental disabilities. In the proclamation Reagan urges Americans to increase awareness and support people with developmental disabilities. To date, much progress has been made with DD awareness, but there is still work to be done.
Summit DD plans to celebrate this year’s National DD Awareness month by launching its “Get the Facts” campaign, raising awareness to promote inclusive communities in Summit County. “Get the Facts” encourages people to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools, communities are stronger. “There are a lot of misconceptions out there about people with developmental disabilities,” stated Tom Armstrong, Summit DD Superintendent. “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month allows Summit DD to provide the facts and celebrate the talents of the individuals we serve. We believe that everyone has the right to work, live, and learn as equal citizens in their community.”
Throughout the month of March, Summit DD will air TV and radio commercials dispelling common myths associated with developmental disabilities. Billboards will be up throughout Summit County to help residents, “Get the Facts”. If you keep your eyes open, you may even see a Metro bus pull up alongside you with “the Facts” on it. Summit DD will also host several open houses at its community-based adult centers, including its Dream Out Loud Studio on March 21st at the Ellet Gift Gallery. Stories of individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and the staff that care for them will also be featured on our site. During March, get acquainted with someone who has a developmental disability, talk to a friend or neighbor about the importance of inclusion, visit Summit DD’s Facebook page to join the conversation, or attend an open house. March is the time to get the facts.