Celebrating and Promoting Inclusion During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3/1/2022

Jeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,


Lincoln – In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of March as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month." The purpose of the proclamation was to educate and encourage Americans to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and achieve their full potential.

This month allows Nebraskans to celebrate the achievements made towards that goal. It is also an opportunity to remind communities of the need to ensure people who experience IDD have the same opportunities to live, work, and enjoy life as those who don't need additional supports in this area.  

Over 5,000 Nebraska residents are supported through the Department of Health and Human Service's Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD). “All Nebraskans deserve to live the good life and that includes individuals with IDD," said Division Director Tony Green. “One way DD is fulfilling that goal is through the implementation of Nebraska's “Person-Centered Planning Initiative" that recognizes the fact that most individuals thrive when they feel that they are a part of their community."

Free training is funded by the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCDD). This enables participants, families, and providers to learn about the process-oriented approach to empowering people to plan their life, find their voice, and work toward reaching their goals. The next workshop begins on March 31. Those who attend all four weeks will receive a certificate of achievement.

“Person-centered planning is really ensuring that the plan is developed with the person, for the person, and by the person. It is a different way of thinking about how we create services and support for people based on what the individual participant wants as opposed to what the system has to offer," said Green.

The Department is proud to recognize Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and continue the work of ensuring individuals with IDD are leading productive lives and achieving their full potential.

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