As we head into a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on our collective journey toward inclusivity, community, and empowerment. For the developmental disability community, setting resolutions can be a powerful way to advocate for positive change, foster inclusiveness, and promote well-being. While DDA embodies all of these as much as we can all year long, we know that more work needs to be done consistently, and by the community at large.
We at DDA Resolve:
- To advocate for and contribute to creating accessible spaces, both physically and digitally, ensuring that individuals with developmental disabilities can navigate the world with ease.
- Support inclusive education practices that ensure all students, regardless of ability, have the opportunity to learn and grow together. This involves promoting awareness, providing resources, and collaborating with educators and institutions.
- Work towards creating a more inclusive job market by supporting initiatives, including our own, that promote the hiring of individuals with developmental disabilities. We do this year-round with our employment service Jobs West and our packaging business at Starworks.
- Raise awareness about the unique healthcare needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and advocate for healthcare systems that are sensitive to these needs.
- Foster a sense of belonging by promoting social inclusion in communities. Support initiatives that create opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to engage in social activities, form connections, and build meaningful relationships.
- Recognize the essential role of caregivers and families in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. Advocate for support services, respite care, and community resources that alleviate the challenges faced by caregivers, promoting the overall well-being of families.
- Acknowledge the mental health struggles that may accompany developmental disabilities. Advocate for mental health resources, and support networks, and destigmatize seeking help for mental health challenges within the developmental disability community.
In 2024 and onward, let’s commit to making strides towards a more inclusive and supportive society for individuals with developmental disabilities. By embracing these resolutions, we can contribute to building a world that recognizes and values the unique contributions of every individual, regardless of ability.