This is the 28th Year the United States has recognized and celebrated March as National Disability Awareness Month!
On February 26, 1987 President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613 making March National Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Everyone wants, and deserves, to enjoy life, feel productive and secure. But in March, we take extra steps to raise awareness about the supports and rights of the people with disabilities and to celebrate their contributions to our communities and society as a whole!
All individuals, agencies, and organizations supportive of people with disabilities are encouraged to observe the month of March with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the contributions and the potential of Americans with disabilities.
This year you can take part in one of the 3 DDS Regional Celebrations coordinated by the DDS Self Advocate Coordinators:
- March 17, 2015 – West Region - 12:30-1:30 at the WR DDS Main Office - Rowland Building in Waterbury – Contact Jossie Torres, SAC
- March 23, 2015 – South Region - 12:00 – 12:30 at the SR DDS Main Office – Wallingford – Contact – Genna Lewis, SAC
- March 26, 2015 – North Region - 12:00 – 12:30 at the NR DDS Main Office – East Hartford – Contact – Jamar Cherry,SAC
Join our DDS Self Advocate Coordinators as they bring awareness and share success stories of people in CT making a difference. The SACs also encourage you to support their new campaign “We Are People – Call Me By My Name”. This new initiative supports and recognizes “People First Language.” The “We are People –Call Me by My Name” campaign is asking for everyone to be called by their given name. The SACs are hoping to eliminate several words; "client", "patient", "ward", "them", "handicapped", and the "R" word - "retarded".
“Some of these terms have been around for a long time and old habits are hard to break,” said Carol Grabbe, South Region SAC. “We are asking everyone to remember to call people by their name and be respectful.”
The Coordinators are also inviting people to take the Disability Awareness Pledge which reaffirms a commitment to seeing the person and not the disability. The SACs are challenging each one of us to be the change that makes a difference.
Together we celebrate March as National Disability Awareness Month!