Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney, as well as the entire State Senate and Assembly, today joined the Arc of New Jersey in recognizing March as National Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
“Advocating on behalf of New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities is the entire reason I began my career in politics,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “I am incredibly grateful for all that the Arc of New Jersey does for the I/DD community and I am thankful for the opportunity this awareness month presents to shine a light on the struggles of this vibrant community.”
National Developmental Disability Awareness Month promotes respect for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, raises awareness of the challenges and obstacles they face, and promotes understanding, encouragement, and opportunities that allow them to live fulfilled lives.
“Developmental Disability Awareness Month is an opportunity for New Jersey to pause and look inward at the ways in which our state can improve inclusion in all areas of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD),” said Tom Baffuto, Executive Director of the Arc of New Jersey. “It is a chance to identify the barriers that individuals with I/DD still sometimes face, and it is the perfect time to engage individuals about their needs and desires for living a full life in the community.
“We thank the Senate President for recognizing and highlighting Developmental Disability Awareness Month and for keeping the issues of greatest importance to those we represent at the forefront during the month of March and throughout the year.”
As the state’s leading advocacy and services organization for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the Arc of New Jersey and its local chapters serve approximately 27,000 individuals and their families, and its exemplary Self-Advocacy Project provides essential assistance to the New Jersey Statewide Self-Advocacy Network.