developmental disabilities awareness month

In 1987, President Reagan recognized March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to increase “public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities” and to provide the “encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities are defined as impairments in physical, learning, language or behaviour areas, and include:

  • Autism spectrum disorders

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • Learning or intellectual disabilities

  • Hearing loss

  • Vision impairment

  • Other developmental delays

Through a campaign each March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), Association of University Centres

on Disabilities (AUCD) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) join forces to highlight the ways in which people with and without disabilities unite to form strong communities.

Throughout the campaign, individuals with and without disabilities will share their experiences through stories, photos and videos. This year’s campaign also highlights artwork created by individuals with disabilities and is featured in the Developmental Disabilities Awareness campaign imagery. Resources (toolkits, photos, videos, promising practices) will be shared with a national audience.

National Disability Institute encourages you to support the NACDD campaign by using the hashtag #DDawareness19 on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, visit

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