What is National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

March was declared Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. The proclamation urged all Americans to join the President “in according our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to live productive lives and achieve their full potential.”

Now, some 27 years later, there are approximately 4.6 million Americans who continue to live with such differing abilities, and who look to the larger community, as we all do, for encouragement and opportunities to live productive lives, achieving their full potential.

This month, we are participating in National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and hope you will join in a month of prayer and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities online and in your faith communities. Our February resource email focused on helping host sites lift up the gifts people with disabilities have and are to the church and society. Visit the host site leaders section of the new website to download prayer petitions and a bulletin insert to share with your congregation.

Here are some simple ways you can participate on an individual basis: 

  1. Join us online at facebook.com/rejoicingspirits for a month of prayer centered on the fill in the blank prompt, “Together, we are________.” Prayers will focus on how our churches are stronger, wiser, and better off when people with disabilities are included and valued.
  2. Share the story of your Rejoicing Spirits Ministry with your church, your friends and community.
  3. Invite people with disabilities to be a part of your life and your faith.