|Florida ARF Recognizes DD Awareness Month – Tallahassee, FL (March 28, 2013) March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NDDAM) and is a time when many of you are joining with others to raise awareness about developmental disability issues and the challenges faced by individuals with all types of disabilities. We agree wholeheartedly with the statement released by the national UCP organization which reads as follows: “During NDDAM, there are many accomplishments to celebrate. Advances in technology continue to enable greater participation in all kinds of activities, from video games to voting. Landmark legislation like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has expanded access to services like healthcare and housing. Individuals with disabilities participated in the London Olympic games and the Miss America pageant last year, and the disability community was even mentioned in President Obama’s second inaugural address in January. But the challenges for people with disabilities continue despite these important advances. While the number of people in the United States with disabilities continues to grow, state and federal budget cuts threaten funding for vital government programs and services.”
|Earlier this week, we were pleased to see Florida’s House and Senate Appropriations Committees recognized the need to appropriate additional funding to expand services to individuals with developmental disabilities who have been on a waitlist for services for many years. Also, The Arc of Florida’s legislative proposal to remove use of the “R” word from state legislation is receiving strong support. Within our member agencies, we see so many of you addressing the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in such positive ways, often with limited resources and restrictions, and we celebrate your efforts and accomplishments. While we still have much work to do to assist you in achieving your missions, it is rewarding to find so many things to celebrate!