Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • May Awareness Month
  • Safety and Quality Report
  • Who we help
  • Careers at Devereux
  • Inspirational messages of Hope banner
  • Commitment to Diversity

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Helping individuals with disabilities achieve their dreams


Dan Maggiti, who is enrolled in Devereux New Jersey’s community-supported employment program, is learning new skills and increasing his independence by working at the Equine Tranquility Wellness Center in Andover, N.J.

According to the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), more than five million Americans have a developmental disability, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, vision impairment or another learning or intellectual disability.

During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, celebrated each March, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health recognizes the many contributions made by youth and adults with developmental disabilities, and wants to highlight the importance of creating inclusive schools, workplaces and communities for these individuals to achieve their dreams and thrive.

As part of Devereux’s continuum of care, the organization provides innovative programs and services for children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. At Devereux New Jersey, team members strive to help those they serve lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives through a broad spectrum of treatment settings, including community-based homes and apartments, vocational training, intensive in-home supports, and consultative and family-based service models focused on positive and strength-based approaches.

“Our programs and services are designed to help individuals with developmental disabilities increase their independent living skills, integrate into the community and achieve the highest possible quality of life,” said Devereux New Jersey Executive Director Brian Hancock, J.D. “We work collaboratively with families, teachers and agency staff to develop individualized support plans that build on each youth or adult’s strengths, needs and preferences. We want to ensure those we serve receive the care and assistance they need to succeed.”

Learning new skills; increasing independence

One individual who is showcasing his skills and talents and making meaningful connections and contributions in the community – with support from Devereux New Jersey – is Dan Maggiti. Since 2019, Dan has worked at the Equine Tranquility Wellness Center in Andover, N.J. The center offers therapeutic riding and equine-assisted learning for individuals with emotional, psychological and/or physical disabilities.

“I work in farm maintenance,” Dan explained. “I check the water for the horses, fill water buckets, clean horse stalls, carry bales of hay off of trailers, fix boards on the fence and other duties.”

Dan, who began receiving services through Devereux New Jersey in 2014, is enrolled in the center’s community-supported employment program. The program helps individuals acquire the skills needed to maintain competitive employment.

“My job coaches helped me find my job, learn my duties and talk to people at work when I was new. Now, I am comfortable with everyone,” Dan shared. “Sometimes, someone will ask me for help with something, and I really like that. I like being able to help with things I understand, and am good at. I enjoy being outside, so this job suits me. Even in bad weather, I don’t mind it. I enjoy working and interacting with everyone.”

As for what the future holds, Dan says, “I want to keep working at the farm, increase my hours and become more independent.”

Promoting inclusion: #DDawareness2022

To celebrate the accomplishments of individuals with developmental disabilities like Dan, and communicate the importance of inclusion, the NACDD holds an annual social media campaign during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This year, the NACDD is encouraging the public to share stories, photos, videos and resources about topics such as education, employment and community living on social media throughout the month of March – using the hashtags #DDawareness2022, #DDAM2022 or #WorldsImagined.

Learn more about Devereux New Jersey, and learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.


Latest News

Lisa Kroger   Devereux Florida Executive Director Lisa Kroger named one of Orlando Family Magazine’s ‘Super Women’

Devereux Florida Executive Director Lisa Kroger was recently selected as one of Orlando Family Magazine’s 2022 “Super Women” as a result of her extensive experience as a child and family advocate. Each year, the magazine honors women who are committed to making a positive impact in the community.

Lauren Penrod   Working and thriving: Devereux Pennsylvania’s CAAPP program helps Lauren Penrod achieve success

Working two jobs, Lauren Penrod, who receives services through Devereux Pennsylvania, has one goal: to continue to learn as many new skills as possible. Lauren has been employed at T.J. Maxx department store in Abington, Pa. since 2015, and in 2021, she took on a second job at Giant supermarket in Doylestown, Pa.

The commons   Student-run café at Devereux’s Glenholme School helps youth develop essential skills

Whether they are greeting customers, processing orders, preparing meals, collecting payments or sanitizing the kitchen and dining areas, youth at Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School are learning valuable job, life and social skills through The Commons, an on-campus, student-run café.

Kelsey Lawson   Kelsey Lawson named senior vice president and chief safety and risk officer of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux has announced the appointment of Kelsey Lawson, JD, to the newly created position of senior vice president and chief safety and risk officer.

Behavioral Health News   Devereux article on treatment and recovery considerations for children featured in Behavioral Health News

An article written by Devereux National Director of Behavioral Health Services Crystal Taylor-Dietz, Psy.D., and Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services Clinical Supervisor Molly Stubbs, LPC, was recently featured in Behavioral Health News. The article - “The integration of treatment and recovery: Special considerations for working with children” - discusses specific considerations for the treatment and recovery of children and adolescents in order to meet their unique needs.

Amy Kelly   Amy Kelly shares journey with autism on iHeartRadio’s What’s Going On podcast

Listen as Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM, whose daughter, Annie, has autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities, shares her journey with autism and discusses Devereux’s autism programs and services on iHeartRadio’s What’s Going On podcast.

Devereux salutes   Honoring those who make a difference: Devereux salutes nurses, teachers during May observances

At Devereux, we are celebrating our more than 250 nurses and 200 teachers who inspire and influence their colleagues, as well as the children, adolescents and adults they serve.

Amy Kelly   Devereux article on the need for more developmental-behavioral pediatricians featured in Autism Spectrum News

Read this Autism Spectrum News article written by Devereux National Director of Family Engagement Amy Kelly, MBA, MNM. In the article - “Addressing a shortage of autism specialists” - Kelly shares the beginning of her family’s autism journey, and discusses the need for more developmental-behavioral pediatricians in the U.S.

Lori Gross   Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: Spotlight on Devereux MA/RI Assistant Nurse Manager Lori Gross

At Devereux, our employees are at the heart of everything we do - and are key to our success. Learn how Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Assistant Nurse Manager Lori Gross is serving and inspiring others every day.

Jessica Huntt   Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS doctoral intern Jessica Huntt named 2022 Savin Scholar Award winner

Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) doctoral intern Jessica Huntt was recently selected as Devereux’s 2022 Savin Scholar Award winner for her research study examining the effectiveness of using an app to increase family engagement for youth enrolled in residential treatment.

More Stories