Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Spectrum Institute is pleased to participate in Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.  Each March, organizations and individuals throughout the United States engage in a variety of activities to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.  Developmental disabilities include cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The history and purpose of this commemoration is explained by the Special Needs Alliance: “In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March ‘Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.’ The deinstitutionalization movement of the seventies and early eighties had laid the foundation for significant social change, and the presidential proclamation called upon Americans to provide the ‘encouragement and opportunities’ necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.”

Through our Mental Health Project, Spectrum Institute is raising awareness about the importance of giving full and equal access to adults with developmental disabilities in the wide array of mental health therapies that are available to the general public.  Through our Guardianship Project, we are educating public officials about the need to provide access to justice to adults with developmental disabilities in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings and to explore less restrictive alternatives, such as supported decision-making, when they are feasible.