Cape Abilities is proud to be a part of this year’s Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This nation-wide initiative seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as make known the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.
DDAM2022 gives all of us an important platform to talk about creating and engaging in opportunities that change lives and communities, and celebrates the many ways that people with disabilities enrich the Cape Cod community.
All year, we are committed to highlighting inclusion, celebrating contributions being made by individuals in our programs, and promoting the partners that provide a platform for people with developmental disabilities to showcase their important role in making the Cape Cod community shine! They are valued employees at local businesses, advocates for their programs and services, friendly residents in local neighborhoods, and volunteers at other nonprofit agencies, as they work to improve our community so that people of all abilities are able to live, work, and thrive.
With assistance from Cape Abilities, students with disabilities have the opportunity to create a plan for their future, explore their career interests, and pursue internship opportunities. Our Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program supports eligible students from 14 to 22 years old, as they transition from high school into the world of work.
Throughout the year, Cape Abilities engages in a variety of activities to educate the Cape Cod community on disability employment issues and the role they play in fostering an inclusive work culture. Employers and employees in all industries play an important part in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month. Our Vocational Program helps individuals identify and prepare for a career that matches their interests and goals, and helps them secure a job at community business.
Cape Abilities day programs offers individuals the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect in a community or center-based setting. Many of our individuals use this as an opportunity to give back to their community – in 2021, Cape Abilities partnered with over 30 different organizations to volunteer. Among those organizations were the Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. In partnership with Cape Abilities Farm, individuals have sourced and delivered over 1,800 bags of fresh produce for food-insecure families and home-bound seniors on Cape Cod.
Cape Abilities Residential Services is a comprehensive program which ensures that individuals with disabilities can choose the living situation or setting that best meets their needs to enhance their quality of life. This program enable our participants to live as independently as possible, while still receiving the care and support they need and the security and comfort of knowing they have a life-long home. Options include group homes, Adult Family Care, Shared Living, and opportunities for independent living – all of which give individuals the opportunity to thrive in a way that is most supportive for them.
Interested in getting involved? Here are 7 ways that you can easily promote Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month:
1) Swap your social media profile picture
Change your social media profile pictures to the image on the right. The image sparks curiosity in your online friends, and it will encourage them to join and spread awareness through this image and call to action.
2) Write a blog post or share an article
Make your voice heard and take the time to write a blog post about this topic, or share an article that highlights the importance of inclusive communities and meaningful opportunities for people of all abilities.
3) Connect with someone who has a disability
Connecting with someone who has a disability helps to encourage inclusive friendships. The Cape Abilities Growing Friendships program helps to foster these long-term, meaningful friendships by pairing an individual in our programs with a volunteer. If you’d like to join the Growing Friendships program, contact Ellen Zeyen at email@example.com.
4) Support organizations that employ people with disabilities
What better way to encourage inclusion than to support organizations and businesses who employ people with disabilities! Take the time to thank them and mention your appreciation for their support, and it will go a long way to spread inclusion.
5) Learn more about it
Take the time to have a deep conversation with someone with a disability. Read a book about it. Attend a seminar or a workshop about the topic. Whatever the method may be, be sure that you are educated about this topic and the needs of this community.
6) Write a social media post about awareness
Let your friends know about this cause. Show them how much you care, and how passionate you are about making out community more accessible and inclusive. Make sure that this topic is on the minds of your followers. And remember to use #DDAM2022.
7) Talk to people about the importance of inclusion
Keep the conversation going. Talk to your friends. Talk to your families. Talk to your coworkers, and even your employer about employing those with disabilities. Talk to your children about the importance of inclusion.
Celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
with us throughout the month of March!