Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March 15, 2024 | Adam's Camp Blog, Advocacy, General

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (or DDAM). This annual observance focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of people with developmental disabilities.

This month is extra special to our community at Adam’s Camp. Not only is it a time to celebrate our loved ones with disabilities, but it’s also a chance to assess what we can do to foster and increase not just awareness, but acceptance.

Taking the time to understand people with developmental disabilities and the unique circumstances they face in life is just as important as spreading awareness. That is a huge part of the goal of DDAM (and the mission of Adam’s Camp) and is the only way to make true progress in disability rights.


What is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?

DDAM was originally established by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. The NACDD is an association made up of 56 state/territory councils for developmental disabilities in the United States.

Its goal is to raise awareness and promote inclusion of people with disabilities. It also strives to bring attention to everyday barriers that disabled people face. Through social media campaigns, sharing information, and community involvement, DDAM highlights the strength of diversely abled communities.

Another central objective of DDAM is inviting people to share helpful resources relating to those with developmental disabilities. Overall, it’s a time for individuals – both with and without disabilities – to come together to spread awareness, acceptance, and information.

For more information on the NACDD, visit their website.


The Impact of DDAM

As we know, the purpose of DDAM aligns with the goals behind disability rights advocacy as a whole. To achieve equality among differently-abled people, awareness is a critical first step. This is followed by acceptance, and finally, inclusion.

These are continuous focal points for people in the disability community. Still, having a month set aside to hone in on these goals can make a big difference. It gives us a chance to assess our progress and plan for the future, all while celebrating people with disabilities.

For 2024, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is bringing its focus to the importance of opportunity.


“A World of Opportunities”

Every year for the observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, the NACDD chooses a central theme to focus on for the month. The theme for 2024 is “A World of Opportunities.” As opportunities can often be limited for people with disabilities, this year’s theme is especially impactful.

This year’s theme especially resonates with all of us here at Adam’s Camp. Access to opportunities is important for everyone to lead a happy, fulfilled life. We try to provide opportunities for adventure, growth, and fun at camp. And we know that being given the chance to shine is crucial in every aspect of life.

Past years’ themes for DDAM included 2023’s “Beyond The Conversation” and 2022’s “Worlds Imagined.” As you might infer from these titles, the focus usually centers around opening up conversations, lives, and the world to include and accept people with disabilities.


Developmental Disability Awareness Year-Round

Having one month set aside to focus on developmental disability awareness is great. However, it’s equally important to work toward acceptance for the rest of the year as well. We challenge you to take the goals of DDAM and “A World of Opportunities” with you into your daily life. Your community and your loved ones with disabilities will be all the better for it.

And with the many other disability awareness months throughout the year, there’s always time to prioritize inclusion.

For example, October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is especially relevant to DDAM’s theme this year, as employment opens up our lives to many opportunities. Additionally, next month will be Autism Acceptance Month, allowing for time to focus on our loved ones with autism. In short, there’s always something to celebrate—and always work to be done!

Want to participate in this year’s DDAM social media campaign? Share resources, stories, artwork—anything you want using the hashtags #DDawareness2024, #DDAM2024, #AWorldofOpportunities, or #NewOpportunities. Don’t forget to tag us here at Adam’s Camp too!


Opportunities at Adam’s Camp

At Adam’s Camp, we are always working to strengthen our amazing community of differently-abled people. DDAM echoes our vision for the world and provides time for everyone to come together to promote awareness and acceptance.

The Adam’s Camp mission is to realize the potential and develop the strengths of children, youth, and adults with disabilities. We do this through unique adventure and therapy programs with the help of committed counselors, therapists, and volunteers who all work together to create a safe, fun, and supportive environment for people with disabilities.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions about how we support our community – and enjoy the rest of Developmental Disabilities Month!

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