Each March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), partners with Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) 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.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.
DD Awareness Month covers three main areas: education, employment and community living.
The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has chosen Supports Matter as the theme for 2019.
On March 5, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, the Ohio DD Council joined with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio Self Determination Association for the 2019 DD Awareness and Advocacy Day.
The day started with an hour-long event of speakers on different topics that affect Ohioans with developmental disabilities.
Several area DD boards are celebrating the month by featuring area residents on billboards.
In Paulding County, high school senior Hailey Harris is featured sporting her Paulding Pride basketball uniform.
Harris has been playing basketball for two years.
Henry County used the theme of support to highlight some of the individuals who receive support services from either the community, their families or HOPE Services.
Individuals on their billboards include LaNae Thompson, Brad Booth, Derrick Maassel, Ryan Moore, Deb Butler and youngster Rylee C.
Many other communities around the region, including Defiance and Paulding counties, have also had their county commissioners commemorate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with proclamations.