Check out the #DDAwareness17 campaign going on now

Post by Kit Mead, MCIE Communications Specialist 

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month


Image by The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).

This month, March 2017, is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM)!  Three disability organizations have created a social media campaign using the hashtag #DDAwareness17. Each week of March has a certain theme. Last week’s theme was education, and this week’s theme is employment. Individuals and organizations have been asked to follow the themes for each week if they participate. This post will highlight some research that shows meaningful inclusive education benefits post-secondary inclusion in society and employment.  

In our Inclusion Works! brief, we highlight the 2006 research of M. Wagner, L. Newman, and P. Levine (see brief for full citation): “The National Longitudinal Transition Study examined the outcomes of 11,000 students with a range of disabilities and found that more time spent in a general education classroom was positively correlated with… better outcomes after high school in the areas of employment and independent living.”

A 2009 study highlights that inclusion in general education as a predictor of post-secondary outcomes was “the most common predictor category among the studies reviewed…” and notes that in addition to other outcomes, “it was also a predictor of employment with a moderate level of evidence.” And evidence indicates that students in postsecondary education programs for students with ID/DD have a more positive relationship with employment.

The theme for #DDAwareness17 is “Life Side by Side” – and we know that inclusive education creates more opportunities for people with ID/DDs to do just that. People with ID/DDs deserve to have those opportunities, including in employment. They deserve to meaningfully learn, work, and live alongside their non-disabled peers.

AUCD is also holding a Twitter chat tomorrow, March 14, at 2 pm EST, on employment. Check out the details at this link. They will be hosting more chats later in the month as well.