March is National Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness Month, and Weaver is raising awareness about including people with disabilities in all areas of the community. Inclusion means creating a place where everyone feels valued and can contribute.
For people with disabilities, this means removing any barriers preventing them from participating in activities. This may include physical obstacles, such as inaccessible buildings or equipment, and attitudinal barriers, such as assumptions about what can and can't be done.
Don’t just check the boxes
Creating an inclusive environment is more than just a matter of meeting legal requirements or checking boxes. It is about recognizing all individuals' values, regardless of their abilities. People with disabilities have unique perspectives and experiences that can enrich our culture and contribute to its success. Organizations can create a more dynamic and innovative location by embracing diversity and inclusion.
Studies have shown that more diverse and inclusive companies are more successful. They are better able to attract and retain talent, build stronger relationships with customers and create more innovative products and services.
People with disabilities have the same right to work and contribute to society. By including them in the workforce, you are helping to break down barriers and create a more just and equitable society. You are also helping to create a workplace culture that values diversity, respect and inclusion, which can positively impact the morale and well-being of all employees.
How to create awareness
Many don’t realize the abilities of people with disabilities, so creating awareness is essential. Together, we can help end negative stereotypes.
Start by familiarizing yourself with the types of intellectual and developmental disabilities. For example, common developmental disabilities include Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Neural Tube Defects, Down syndrome and others.
One out of six children, aged three through 17, will have one or more developmental disabilities, according to the CDC. These conditions last a person’s lifetime and can impact their daily lives.
Familiarizing yourself with the types of disabilities and the people doing incredible things because of their abilities will help educate society. You can be part of the change.
Be an advocate
Those with developmental disabilities benefit from the presence of those who can be a positive voice. Being an advocate means speaking for the rights of those with developmental disabilities. You can champion policies that help them to succeed.
The Disability Advocacy Network is a network that aims to build a larger and stronger movement of advocates for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. You can join the network and become an advocate too.
Spread the word
This month, help Weaver spread the word by sharing our social media posts with your friends and family. We need your help creating a more accepting world for people with disabilities. Their unique gifts and talents must be shared with our community.
Including people with disabilities is an essential issue that people and companies should take seriously. By creating a world where everyone feels valued and can contribute, organizations can unlock the full potential of people with disabilities and achieve tremendous success.
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