March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The CDC defines developmental disabilities as “a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.”
Developmental disabilities, like many disabilities, do not stop an individual from being able to live a fulfilling and joyful life. What can stop these individuals are the societally created barriers to participation that exist in many forms. A barrier to participation can be defined as “factors in a person’s environment that, through their absence or presence, limit functioning and create disability.” The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities(NACDD) campaign for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month “seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets 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.” It is important for us as a community to work together to break down barriers that people with disabilities face on a daily basis.
The first step of breaking down these barriers is simply being aware that they exist, then we can better work to dismantle these barriers in order to create a more inclusive society for all. One way we seek to raise awareness of disability-related issues is through our text crawl on our livestreams. We use the platform of our live streams to share both important facts about disabilities and also metrics about our programming efforts in the areas of Hearing Loss Advocacy and Accessibility.
One organization that is working towards the goal of inclusiveness towards those with disabilities is Art Enables. They are a DC based “art gallery and vocational arts program dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities to make, market, and earn income from their original and compelling artwork.” Artist Jamila Rahimi is responsible for creating the art associated with this awareness campaign. Her artwork was selected by NACDD after being featured at Art Enables.
When it comes to treating developmental disabilities, there are a wide range of possibilities because there are a wide range of developmental disabilities. Across many of these disabilities two things tend to hold true, the importance of early intervention and the therapeutic value of music therapy. To learn more about the value of early intervention check out our previous post on the subject. When it comes to music therapy, it can be a great option for children with special needs, including those with developmental disabilities. This is because many times results that can be achieved with music therapy cannot be achieved by other means. One possible reason for this given by the American Music Therapists Association is “music is processed by a different area of the brain than speech and language; so a student may be able to more easily interpret and absorb information and skills presented with music.” To learn more about music therapy, and explore possibilities for you and your family, visit Anderson Music Therapy Services.
We hope you will join us this month in raising awareness for those with developmental disabilities, and support the work being done by 5 Points and other organizations looking to break down barriers for those with developmental disabilities.