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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

03/01/13
National

Empower Yourself, Empower Someone Else

Twenty-six years ago we successfully advocated for March to be declared National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan (LINK). And, there is no doubt that we have made tremendous strides to promote and protect the rights of people with I/DD to live, learn, work and play as valued and contributing members of their communities, the real strength of our message comes straight from the individuals we serve. No matter how effective our organization’s advocacy efforts may be, no one is as powerful an advocate for people with I/DD as a person with I/DD.

So, this year during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we would like to empower all individuals with I/DD to appoint themselves as their own advocates. Becoming a self-advocate simply means protecting one’s own self-interests — demanding re­spect, reaching out for the services and supports needed to fully participate, and simply making others aware of what it means to be a person with I/DD. When you empower yourself in this way, you can then empower others to join in the cause with you. 

  • Start a conversation. Ask everyone you meet, "Did you know that March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?"
  • Use the month of March to follow The Charles River Center on Facebook.
  • Spread the word. Educate yourself about issues important to the I/DD community, then tell the world what you found out about. Go "old school" with a good, old fashioned letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining to your community why they should care about I/DD.
  • Contact The Charles River Center to volunteer or donate. 

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