March 15, 2013

by: Renee Canfield

What Can One Person Do?

The best advocate for individuals with disabilities is the one who speaks up.  Each one of us, sharing our stories, relaying our passion and taking action on our beliefs.  There is a great deal you can do to raise awareness about developmental disabilities in our community.  Because it is March, National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to do at least one thing that helps get the word out – individuals with disabilities are people just like everyone else, with abilities, potential, hopes and futures.  Here are just a few suggestions to help raise developmental disabilities awareness during March.

  •  Ask everyone you meet: “Did you know that March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?”  That may spark a conversation – a teachable moment – when you can share your experience living with a disability or having someone close to you who has a disability.
  • Post this as your Facebook status at least once during March:  March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.  Help me celebrate the contributions of all people with developmental disabilities by copying and posting this as your status during March.
  • Tweet during March:  March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month.  Foster respect, access and inclusion for all.
  • Write a blog post for your blog or for UCP of Greater Cleveland’s blog!  Talk about your personal experiences or the experiences of someone you know and love.  Tell the world what you would like to see change!
  • Since many people with disabilities rely on public funded services to fully participate in the community, make sure that your local, state and national policy makers know about your concerns for budget cuts of critical programs, such as Medicaid, during tough economic times.  Contact your legislators:

Ohio Senate

United States House of Representatives

Senator Rob Portman

Senator Sherrod Brown

  • Volunteer for organizations that support individuals with disabilities.  UCP of Greater Cleveland has two big events this year which will need the support of YOU as a volunteer and participant!  Find out more about Volunteering or Donating to UCP on the UCP of Greater Cleveland website!

  • Talk to your employer about their practices for recruiting and hiring people with developmental disabilities.  UCP of Greater Cleveland has some great resources for businesses wanting to diversify their workforce.
  • Support local businesses that employ people with disabilities and make sure business owners know you appreciate their diverse workforce.  Here are just a few of UCP of Greater Cleveland’s business partners.

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