March-National Disability Awareness Month
March has been recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation - dedicating the month to increasing public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. The goal is the same today and also focuses on the importance of inclusion and living life side-by-side.
Year round, The Arc works to help people of all abilities build rich meaningful lives. We inform and educate people of the rights of individuals with disabilities to live, learn, work and play as valued and contributing members of society resulting in stronger and more diverse communities. But sometimes the barrier has nothing to do with the width of a doorway or an employer’s hiring practices. Sometimes the barrier is as subtle as a nervous glance from an uninformed person in line with you at the market.
The Arc invites you to join us in March to help raise awareness about people with developmental disabilities. If you are a person with a disability or know someone who does have a disability, simply make plans to go out somewhere in public with them numerous times in the month of March. Plan a day out and enjoying the things you like to do. And, in the process help raise awareness and generate some conversation about people with disabilities during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This will serve to harness our collective power to gain allies, foster understanding, dispel myths, encourage a greater understanding among people without a disability and will be helping break down those social barriers.
October-National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."
The Arc is proud to be a part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Every day, people with disabilities add significant value and talent to our employers and economy. They conduct business, educate our youth, deliver goods and services, and serve our communities.