National Developmental Disability Awareness Month

Making Sure Our World is Accessible to All

This years DDAM artwork is by Calvin Sonny Clarke.

This year’s DDAM artwork is by Calvin “Sonny” Clarke.

Shay Rivera

In 1987, March was officially declared National Developmental Disability Awareness Month. Around 26% of American adults are disabled, or about 61 million people. The most common disabilities in the U.S. are mobility- related and other common ones are partial or complete loss of senses such as vision and hearing.

When you see a blue sign with a wheelchair icon in the parking lot, this designates that parking space specifically for people with disabilities. Other things like the width of a hallway or door opening must be considered as well.

Disabilities affect every part of people’s lives including need for healthcare and interacting with others. Accessibility and accommodations are very important to include disabled people in everyday activities. Ramps, text-to-speech, braille signs, and service dogs are just a few of the many types of accommodations that help individuals with disabilities go about their daily lives.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all buildings that are accessible to the public must follow regulations that provide disabled people the same access as people without disabilities.

This year, The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities is working to “create a social media campaign that highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.”