In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” This is an amazing time where we are able to rise up as a community and raise awareness about developmental disabilities. In the words or Reagan, we need to call upon Americans to prove the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.
But sometimes, it feels like we can’t make much of an impact because “I’m just one person”. So on a practical level, how can you, in your day to day life, really raise awareness about developmental disabilities?
Here are 7 ways that you can easily promote this cause:
1) Swap your profile picture
The Arc, a big advocate of those with disabilities, has challenged their followers to change their social media profile pictures to the image on the right. The hope is that the image sparks curiosity in your online friends, and that they will join and spread awareness through this image and call to action. A great way to get a conversation started among your friends.
2) Write a blog post or article
Make your voice heard and take the time to write a blog post about this topic. It can be about an inspirational person that you know who has a disability, a particular disability, or a certain call-to-action that you may be especially passionate for.
3) Connect with someone who has a disability
The best way to develop compassion for those with disabilities is to spend time with someone who has one. Seeing the challenges that they often have in day-to-day life, the passions that carry, the opportunities that they are missing out on because they don’t have the regular access to them that we have; these are all ways to develop a heart for this cause. And that is where true change will begin, when we truly care for these individuals on a personal level.
4) Support organizations that employ people with disabilities
What better way to encourage inclusion than to support organizations and businesses who employ people with disabilities? Take the time to thank them and mention your appreciation for their support, and it will go a long way to spread inclusion.
5) Learn more about the subject of disabilities
It is alarming how few Americans are truly educated about the difficulties that many people with disabilities face daily. So take the time to have a deep conversation with someone with a disability. Read a book about it. Attend a seminar or a workshop about the topic. Whatever the method may be, be sure that you are educated about this topic and the needs of this community.
6) Write a social media post about awareness
Maybe the easiest way to raise awareness, put your brief thoughts down on paper (or computer, to be exact) and let your friends know about this cause. Show them how much you care, and how passionate you are about inclusion of those with disabilities. Make sure that this topic is on the minds of your follower. If you aren’t the most create person when it comes to words, feel free to share the following.
Twitter: “March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Join me in celebrating those with disabilities and supporting inclusion. #ddaware.”
Facebook: “March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Join me in celebrating the achievements of those with disabilities, as well as supporting inclusion and opportunity for all. Repost this as your status and join in the conversation!”
7) Talk to people about the importance of inclusion
The most important way to keep the conversation going is to have the conversation yourself! So talk to your friends. Talk to your families. Talk to your coworkers, and even your employer about employing those with disabilities. Talk to your children about the importance of inclusion. Let’s have the conversation and really spread awareness this month!Tags: dd awareness, developmental disabilities, developmental disabilities month, developmental disability, developmental disability awareness, disability, disability awareness, disability month, Disability News