For Immediate Release
Developmental Disability Awareness Month 2018
February 26, 2018
Easterseals is changing the way the world views and defines disability, and there is no better time to celebrate this work than in March, National Developmental Disability Awareness Month. Created in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, the original mission was to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.” Much has been achieved in the past 30 years, but there is still much work to do to achieve full community integration for people with disabilities.
Easterseals is a local leader in this work, with more than 40 years of experience working with individuals, families, and businesses to encourage inclusion. This year in Ohio, the theme for the month is “Celebrate Community,” to highlight people with and without disabilities working, going to school, playing and participating in their communities together.
March 7 is Developmental Disability (DD) Advocacy and Awareness Day, an annual event that has taken place for over a decade at The Ohio Statehouse. We had a great experience in 2017, so several of our programs will be visiting the state Capitol again to advocate policy issues which impact the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Easterseals has a wide portfolio of services that serve the whole person, teaching transferable skills and supporting individuals as they strive to transition to community employment.
- Adult Day Services provide offers adults and seniors opportunities to live, learn, work and play as a vital part of their own community or neighborhood by helping them maintain the social and therapeutic relationships they value.
- Neighborhood HUBs offers skill-building and social opportunities based in specific neighborhoods. Individuals have a welcoming “hub” to attend every day, and they experience a variety of volunteer opportunities and outings to learn transferable skills and to build relationships with local organizations and businesses in the community. Supported by the Hatton Foundation.
- Work and Grow is an inclusive workforce model in which community partners offer part-time employment opportunities combined with socio-recreational experiences. Currently offered in five area YMCAs, the Mayerson Jewish Community Center, and The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Many participants, like Eddie Pope, have successfully transitioned to community employment. Supported by Spaulding Family Foundation.
- Project SEARCH is a school-to-work program that provides entry-level work experiences in business settings for students with disabilities. Participants learn transferrable skills, work independently through three different job rotations, and participate in field trips.
- InsideOut is a supportive studio environment for artists with developmental disabilities. Mediums include glass, clay, painting, mosaics, and other mixed media, and all artists receive 50% of all sales.
Participants in the Easterseals Work and Grow program enjoy an outing at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Throughout the month of March, reflect on your business, your community, and your own life. How are you making the world more accessible and more inclusive? How are you celebrating community