Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

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Voting, Recognizing DSPs, and Emergency Preparedness…

NDVRW & DSPRW 2021, Preparedness Month Continues

This week was very busy! It was Direct Service Provider Recognition Week and National Disability Voter Registration Week, along with continuing to celebrate National Preparedness Month.

Thank you, DSPs! During Direct Service Provider Recognition Week, we recognized the need to elevate the vital career of the direct service professional (DSP). DSPs deserve better pay and benefits. The service they provide is a career and many across the nation are working to improve conditions for these professionals. We thanked DSPs, who caringly provide the supports people with disabilities need to be independent while living in their chosen communities – living, working, playing, and worshipping, when they want & where they want. DSPs are advocates who put their clients’ needs first. With these vital supports, more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are in control of their own lives and are included and accepted in their communities.

What is National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW)? It is a campaign to increase the political power of people with disabilities by sharing resources and getting folks registered to vote. In the last election, an estimated 38 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote. This is one of the largest and most diverse voting blocks in the United States. During NDVRW, national, state, and local organizations take part, in order to continue to raise the disability voice and increase civic participation of people with disabilities across the country! Every year, the American Association of People with Disabilities’ REV UP Campaign coordinates NDVRW. Typically celebrated in July, this year, NDVRW was September 13-20, 2021. Activities include voter registration drives, social media campaigns, letter writing projects, townhall meetings, and the Disability Vote Summit. To learn more about civic participation, click here to visit our Civic Engagement resource webpage.

September is Preparedness Month! Disability intersects every demographic group – there are people with disabilities of all ages, races, genders or national origin. And, disabilities can impact a person in a variety of ways – both visible and invisible. For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider individual circumstances and needs to effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters. Here are some tips for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities:

  • Keep handheld electronic devices charged and loaded with videos and activities.
  • Purchase spare chargers for electronic devices and keep them charged.
  • Include sheets and twine or a small pop-up tent (to decrease visual stimulation in a busy room or to provide instant privacy).
  • Consider a pair of noise-canceling headphones to decrease auditory stimuli.
  • Have comfort snacks available.

Here are some videos on personal disaster preparedness from Ready.Gov with open captions and ASL:

I use a Wheelchair

I am Hard of Hearing

I am Blind

You can also visit our Emergency Preparedness page here.

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, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.