Cape Abilities Honors Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March

Cape Abilities is proud to recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM).  This nation-wide initiative seeks to raise awareness about inclusion 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.

DDAM2023 gives all of us an important platform to talk about creating meaningful opportunities that change lives, and celebrates the many ways that people of all abilities enrich the community. When we choose inclusion, we are creating a stronger Cape Cod.

All year, we are committed to highlighting inclusion, celebrating contributions being made by individuals in our programs, and promoting the community partners that provide a platform where people of all abilities can shine!  Our individuals are valued employees at local businesses, advocates for their programs and services, friendly residents in local neighborhoods, and volunteers at other nonprofit agencies. Together, we are working to create a more inclusive Cape Cod where people of all abilities can live, work, and thrive.

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EDUCATION

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.  

Pre-ETS staff Julie (left) supports Jessie (right) as she works at Cape Abilities Farm through her summer internship.

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EMPLOYMENT

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 their abilities. 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. 

Jennifer thrives at her job at Beanstock Coffee Roasters in Eastham.

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DAY PROGRAMS

Cape Abilities day programs offer individuals the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect in a community or center-based setting. Opportunities to make friends, learn new skills, and explore interests are an important part of life. Many individuals in our day programs use opportunities to give back to the community.

Vocational job coach Mandy Gomes and participants Erin and Blaire load a Cape Abilities van with bags of fresh produce.
Job coach Mandy (left), Erin (center), and Blaire load a Cape Abilities van with bags of fresh produce which were distributed within the community.

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RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

Cape Abilities’ Residential Services ensure that individuals can choose the living situation or setting that best meets their needs to enhance quality of life. This program enables individuals 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.

Marc (right) is pictured with residential staff Mikeshia in the accessible vegetable garden at the group home where he lives.

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Interested in getting involved? Here are ways that you can easily promote Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month:

 

Make an inclusive connection
The Cape Abilities Growing Friendships program helps to foster lasting, meaningful, and inclusive friendships by pairing an individual in our programs with a volunteer. If you’d like to join the Growing Friendships program, contact Ellen Marx Zeyen at ezeyen@capeabilities.org.

Support organizations that employ people with disabilities
Support and encourage inclusive workforce models by supporting organizations and businesses that employ individuals of all abilities.

Learn more about it
Learn more about Developmental Disabilities Month and the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). You can view their website here to learn more about this year’s campaign.

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 individuals with disabilities. Talk to your children about the importance of inclusion.

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Celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
with us throughout the month of March!
#DDAM2023

Artwork by Jamila Rahimi/Art Enables

 

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