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March 2024: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

WHEREAS, March 2024 marks the 37th anniversary of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month; and,

WHEREAS, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act), assures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have access to community services, individualized support, and assistance to promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and community integration and inclusion; and,

WHEREAS, National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of people with lived experience across Michigan and educates about barriers they face in achieving full community inclusion; and,

WHEREAS, approximately 57 million people nationwide have a disability and approximately 180,000 people in Michigan have a developmental disability; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan residents with and without developmental disabilities form strong, diverse communities that work, play, learn, and grow together; and,

WHEREAS, people with developmental disabilities enrich and enhance the communities of Michigan with their strengths, abilities, and contributions; and,

WHEREAS, celebrating a brighter future and expanded opportunities comes with the recognition that many obstacles exist that prevent individuals with developmental disabilities from realizing their full potential at school, work, home, or as members of their families and communities, and,

WHEREAS, activities during this month recognize the importance of community living for individuals with developmental disabilities, and address how systemic barriers still exist that limit people with disabilities from enjoying equitable experiences and living independent, productive lives within their communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2024 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Michigan.