Lincoln – In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of March as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month." The purpose of the proclamation was, and continues to be to urge Americans to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.
This proclamation allows us to celebrate the achievements made towards inclusion. It is also an opportunity to remind communities of the need to ensure people who experience developmental disabilities have the same opportunities to live, work, and enjoy life as everyone else.
Approximately 4,900 Nebraska residents are supported through the Department of Health and Human Service's Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD). “Our Division recognizes the importance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and continues our hard work towards realizing the goal of full community inclusion so that people with developmental disabilities are living a fulfilling and productive life alongside neighbors in their community, “said Developmental Disabilities Director Tony Green.
One way DD is working to fulfill this goal is through the implementation of Nebraska's “Person-Centered Planning Initiative." This initiative recognizes the fact that most individuals thrive when they are a part of the community.
“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 of how we create services and support for people based on what the participant wants and not what the system has to offer," said Green.
Free training is available for person-centered planning. The next workshop will be on March 11th at 7:00 PM. Sign up for training here. In addition, recordings of webinars by National Experts on person-centered planning can be found here.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is proud to recognize Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and continuing the work of ensuring individuals with developmental disabilities are leading productive lives and achieving their full potential.