March Is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
The month of March marks Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the needs and rights of people with disabilities and to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to our communities and society.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, urging “all Americans to join me in according our new fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.” March is recognized by groups across the country as an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments and challenges facing people with developmental disabilities and their families.
UCP Suffolk encourages all to celebrate “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” by sharing these important facts:
· Developmental disability is a natural part of the human experience and affects approximately 4.6 million Americans
· All people with developmental disabilities can be productive, contributing members of their communities
· During times of economic decline, essential services and supports for people with developmental disabilities are often threatened
· Policy makers can only make good public policy when they hear from the people directly affected by their decisions
For over 60 years, UCP of Suffolk has been committed to advancing the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities by creating “Life Without Limits.”
UCP of Suffolk provides programs and services to almost 3,500 children and adults with a variety of disabilities annually.
The Children’s Center at UCP of Suffolk offers early intervention, preschool and school aged programs.
The agency provides Adult Day services which include Day Treatment, Day Habilitation and Respite programs, and job training and placement services.
In addition, UCP of Suffolk owns and operates 31 residences throughout Suffolk County, a twelve unit apartment complex, and a comprehensive, fully accessible Health Center.
“People with developmental disabilities have made great strides in receiving access to employment, education, and housing, but so much more has to be done,” Stephen Friedman, UCP of Suffolk President, CEO said. “It is important that communities become more involved and embrace and encourage people with disabilities.”