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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

According to the Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), more than 5 million Americans have a developmental disability.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health strongly supports and works to promote the inclusion of individuals living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive disabilities – as full members of society.

Theme: Life Side by Side

In an effort to raise awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities, the NACDD, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) are launching a social media campaign to highlight the ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

Showcasing the theme “Life Side by Side” – and the Twitter hashtag #DDAwareness17 – the campaign hopes to generate an understanding of the barriers individuals with disabilities face when connecting to the communities in which they live. 

What are developmental disabilities?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and typically continues throughout a person’s lifetime.

In addition, the CDC states that, in the United States, about one in six (15 percent) children, ages three through 17, have one or more developmental disabilities, such as: attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, Cerebral Palsy, a learning or intellectual disability, or hearing loss or vision impairment.

Promoting inclusion through employment

As part of Devereux’s continuum of services, our centers* provide personal growth opportunities for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional and/or behavioral differences, and brain injuries. Just a few of these programs include:

  • Training and vocational day programs teach hands-on job skills, social skills and communications competencies.
  • Community-supported employment helps individuals achieve independence through community-based jobs using normal community resources, while focusing on the unique strengths of each person.
  • Community-based living / residential programs – Community-based homes and apartments enable individuals to learn important life skills designed to increase their ability to live as independently as possible within their communities.

“Our network of clinical, therapeutic, educational and employment programs positively impacts the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year,” said Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marilyn Benoit. “The ultimate goal of our supported employment and vocational programs is to help individuals become productive and socially connected and personally fulfilled members of their local communities.”

Click here to learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

* Center programs and services vary by state.

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