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DD Awareness Month and Big Changes in Arkansas
How Will You Advocate During DD Awareness Month 2020?
Considering the new challenge of the current public health crisis due to the coronavirus, you may be wondering “How will I advocate during DD Awareness Month 2020 now?” You may be asking if you should even continue to advocate, and if so, how? Your favorite event may have been postponed or cancelled. Abrupt changes in planned schedules can be hard to deal with. Please don’t let it stop you from advocating during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM)!
If you are a self-advocate, and have the skills and technology, use your telephone or computer to arrange virtual meetings to allow space for conversations to happen. This can be with existing groups or you could send out invites and take this opportunity to create a local group in your community.
Other advocates – parents, peers, professionals – can do the same. Reach out to your existing support networks and see if regular meetings, or special events, are being updated to happen online or by phone. If not, find out why, contact those in charge and offer to help facilitate these changes.
All advocates and allies should keep an eye on trusted sources of information and share the resources that are provided. Continue to spread the word about the importance of inclusion for and acceptance of people with disabilities. Communicate to others about your priority issue(s) affecting the disability community, as you would typically do during DDAM. However, we should now take this opportunity to also include good information for people with disabilities and their families about being prepared for and how to act during a public health emergency. This all falls under the umbrella of DD awareness.
- Inform yourself with the facts
- Share trusted information with others
- Be prepared
And for the next 30 days:
- Practice good hygiene
- Avoid crowds or large groups
- Be careful with meetings and travel
- Stay home if you are sick
Don’t let this change in our nation’s situation de-rail your advocacy during DDAM 2020, rise to the occasion and help the Arkansas IDD community spread awareness while staying safe and healthy!
About the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website GCDD.arkansas.gov, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar, and on YouTube.