March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. According to the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD): “The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.”
The Council’s website explains, “the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) is the national membership association for the 56 State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD or DD Councils) across the United States and its territories. The DD Councils receive federal funding to support policy change and programs that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for all people in the United States with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Every state, including Mississippi, has a Council on Developmental Disabilities. The councils “focus on creating programs and advocating policy that empower individuals with developmental disabilities and allows them to participate as an equal member of society.” They “work to create an environment of self-sufficiency, self-determination, inclusion, and acceptance” and also play a critical role in quality assurance and as innovators in developing community programs and solutions.
By law, most Council members must have developmental disabilities or be family members of someone with a developmental disability. Each state’s governor appoints council members for that state.
March is a great time to learn more about the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities. Mississippi’s Council “promotes a better quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Improvement in quality of life is accomplished through programs which promote self-advocacy and leadership, develop new approaches or eliminate barriers for services and supports, and increase access to resources through education and collaboration.”
We encourage you to learn more about the Council on its website and plan to attend its next quarterly meeting on April 13 at 10 a.m.