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March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month! Check back often to see new information, stories, and stats as well as advice about how you can be an advocate for compassion throughout the month!
There are many ways we can show our support for people with developmental disabilities. For example, you can foster understanding, respect, and friendships just by teaching your children respect for all people, regardless of circumstance or ability.
Myth: People with disabilities are those who use wheelchairs, are visually or hearing impaired, or look different than people without disabilities.
Fact: The definition of "disability" in the Equality Act of 2010 is broad and covers a wide range of conditions. Some of these conditions might not even be obvious just by looking at a person.
Reality: Everyone deserves compassion and respect. #DevelopmentalDisabilityAwareness
Not all developmental disabilities begin at birth or during fetal development. For example, if someone experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI) prior to turning 22-years-old, he or she can be classified as having a developmental disability. A TBI is the result of an accidental head injury and can lead to cognitive delays or intellectual impairments, which are symptoms that might not be outwardly visible to others. Some examples of accidents that lead to injuries of this nature are car crashes and falls that involved a blow to the head.
Each person experiences his or her disability in a different way. For example, while two School at Springbrook students—Brendan and Nicole—have epilepsy, Brendan’s epilepsy has required him to undergo multiple surgeries to aid in the prevention of seizures, but Nicole has been successfully treated with medication. Springbrook is committed to providing supports for each individual, based on his or her specific needs, interests, and personality. No two people are exactly alike.
Myth: People with developmental disabilities are not normal.
Fact: With almost 8 billion people on our planet, there is no way we could define “normal.” All of us are unique individuals with our own characteristics and personalities, as well as daily struggles. However, it is important to remember we all have strengths and abilities worth celebrating.
Reality: Being considered “normal” has no real meaning. It is far more important to be accepted for who we really are.
March 21, 2016 is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. According to the CDC, 1-in-700 babies born in the United States has Down Syndrome. Early intervention and lifetime support for people with Down Syndrome have proven to be greatly beneficial for improving lives of people with this condition. Springbrook currently provides individualized support for more than 40 people with Down Syndrome.
Myth: People with disabilities are dependent and always need help.
Fact: All people need help at some point in their lives. People with disabilities may just require a more specific kind of help on occasion
Reality: Disability does not mean dependency. If you meet someone with a disability out in the community, it is always best to ask if he or she needs help before assuming.
Many factors are considered when determining if an individual with a developmental disability qualifies for services from voluntary service providers like Springbrook. According to OPWDD, one criterion that must be met is that the disability has to have occurred before a person turns 22-years-old. Springbrook has several residential and in-home supports available for young people with special needs, including our Kids Unlimited Preschool and The School at Springbrook.
During times of economic decline, spending on essential services and supports for people with developmental disabilities is often reduced before other programs. Your donation helps Springbrook ensure that no matter how much state and federal government funding shifts, our supports and services continue to go beyond the basics and improve quality-of-life.