Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Promoting Inclusion

by   |   Wed, Apr 27th, 2016

TuscBDD Blog - Promoting Inclusion

Stephanie Wilson, TuscBDD Board President

March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and we were excited to celebrate this important month with various activities taking place. In the beginning of the month, several individuals served by TuscBDD had the chance to attend the Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Day at the statehouse. The celebrations continued with a county-wide talent show for individuals with developmental disabilities, a sensory-friendly film showing at the Quaker Cinema, the 2nd Annual Community Partners' Breakfast, and a staff/providers vs. Rockets basketball game.

Out of these various events, I am perhaps most excited about the sensory-friendly film showing. I believe that this event gets to the heart of inclusion. By making only minor adjustments to the theater experience, the setting becomes more welcoming for individuals with sensory-processing sensitivities. These slight modifications do not drastically alter the movie-going experience thus allowing persons without sensitivities to continue to enjoy the film. In fact, in discussing the sensory-friendly film with TuscBDD staff, they noted that they enjoyed the atmosphere which slightly modified standard theater etiquette to allow the audience members to laugh, cry, shout and move about the theater.

I believe that often we get overwhelmed when talking about inclusion. We see it as an insurmountable and inevitably expensive task. However, just like a sensory-friendly film, oftentimes only minor changes are needed.

Take customized employment for instance. TuscBDD actively partners with local businesses to identify potential employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. In doing so, TuscBDD works with a team of job coaches to provide the necessary supports to ensure that the individual and the company both benefit from the experience. These supports can be as simple as regularly checking up with the employee to make certain that he/she is doing well. Imagine if all employees came with this extra support!

This month, I encourage you to ponder ways in which your friends and neighbors who happen to have a developmental disability may be able to be better integrated into the community will be essential!

Thanks for reading!


Wed, Apr 27th, 2016