This month, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities celebrates Developmental Disability Awareness Month, fostering conversations about inclusion and accessibility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). These conversations encourage people to see and interact with individuals with I/DD as a whole person, not just a person with a disability, and to apply that vision across the life span. Each week, the campaign focuses on different areas of community life where people with I/DD participate: School, work, family, and in the community.
The NIDILRR grantee community is a part of those conversations, along with the greater disability and rehabilitation community. NIDILRR-funded projects and centers conduct research and offer resources, training, and information which can guide those conversations and build a more inclusive community.
See Me at School
NIDILRR-grantee produced research in this area includes articles and reports on early intervention and inclusive education; vocational education, school to work transition, and career planning; health and wellness; the college experience; and supporting families. More colleges and universities are offering programs geared toward students with I/DD. Learn more about these programs and tools to help young people get ready for the college experience at ThinkCollege.net, a center funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL).
See Me at Work
Current NIDILRR-funded research projects in employment range from specific interventions, such as Project SEARCH, to understanding and implementing effective employment strategies to bring integrated employment to scale for all adults with I/DD. Check out webinars and publications from one of these projects – ThinkWork’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Advancing Employment for Individuals with I/DD – to learn about Employment First, the role of families in employment, financial well-being, and more.
See Me in the Community
People with I/DD are parents, siblings, neighbors, and friends. Like all of us, they want to be involved in the community, strive to make healthy choices, and build friendships and families of their own. The community has a part to play by fostering inclusive programs and services. Learn more about how to make recreational and wellness programs more inclusive so the whole community can participate, the important roles of siblings and family caregivers in community participation, and how to support people with I/DD who are or want to become parents.
To learn more about community resources as well as current and previous research in I/DD, please visit our website at www.naric.com or contact an information specialist at 800/346-2742 if we can assist you with your search.