Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month this March will feature virtual education programs for members of the community, health care professionals, caregivers, and first responders sponsored by the McHenry County Mental Health Board and the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Committee.
The purpose is to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still face in connecting to the communities in which they live.
Over six million people in the United States have developmental disabilities. Examples include autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability and spina bifida.
Four topics will be covered on the four Fridays of the month via Zoom. The programs will be held both in the morning and in the afternoon.
Friday, March 5, included a kickoff and keynote addresses, featuring former Trinity Services Executive Director Art Dykstra and Leanne Mull of Blue Tower Solutions, Inc.
On March 12, the topic will be vocation and employment, followed by advocacy on March 19 and safety and first responders on March 26.
Included in each program will be advocacy at the state and local level, employment support education, first responders who serve people with Developmental Disabilities as well as opportunities for questions.
For more information and to register for the virtual meetings, contact Kristen Doherty at KDoherty@mc708.org. The programs are free but require registration in advance.