National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

People with disabilities face many difficulties in all facets of daily life. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan officially declared the month of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement, and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives. This class of disabilities can refer to impairments in learning and behavior, such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and impairments in physical and/or intellectual functioning such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down syndrome. 

Below are a few important milestones:

  • 1990: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in public life
  • 2004: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reauthorized, ensuring that all children with disabilities have access to a “free appropriate public education”
  • 2008: ADA amended, making it easier for an individual seeking protection to establish that they have a disability
  • 2014: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act signed into law, helping individuals with disabilities gain access to employment, training, and support services

To see which ITEST projects are creating inclusive STEM opportunities for Students with disabilities click on the resources below: