Celebrating Work to Include Individuals With Developmental Disabilities in Community Life
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
March 12, 2021--March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) encourages residents to work towards the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.
According to the Institute on Community Integration, in 2016 there were 7.37 million people in the U.S. with an intellectual or developmental disability. Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability and spina bifida.
DCHS offers a range of support and services to residents with developmental disabilities, which are grounded in the concept of person-centered practice that supports self-direction of people’s own lives. The focus is on the person and what they can do, not their condition or disability. Steps are taken to ensure that services are delivered in a manner that reflects an individual’s personal preferences and choices.
Residential, vocational and day support services are offered to enable individuals to successfully live in the community as independently as possible with the necessary supports, including:
Linking to and monitoring supports
Assistance finding, funding and utilizing services such as speech, occupational and physical therapies
Assistance accessing and maintaining resources such as social security and Medicaid
Access to assistive technology
Education for parents of children with developmental disabilities
In-home training and personal care assistance
Assisted and supervised living including group homes and apartments
Day programs for adults including placement in jobs, work crews, community engagement and pre-vocational programs
DCHS encourages residents to learn more about the challenges individuals with disabilities face and movements to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in community life by accessing the resources below compiled by The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities:
The Accessible Stall, a podcast about issues within the disability community
Conversations on Showing Up for Kids!, a webcast by the Southern Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
National Dance Institute's DREAM Project (Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement), a series of YouTube videos from the inclusive dance program that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to dance and perform
“I Dream of A World”, a short video from the Washington Developmental Disabilities Council