Did you know that March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month? On February 26, 1987 President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613, making March National Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
At Coletta Collections we embrace disability awareness every day. As we say “The mission of St. Coletta of Greater Washington is to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to discover their full potential” Our vision is for people with intellectual disabilities to be recognized and accepted as valuable contributors to the world around them. We believe in the immeasurable value of the individual human spirit an the right of each individual to live as full and independent a life as possible. We respect the dignity of all persons entrusted to our care and our goal is to serve them in an atmosphere that encourages their talents, celebrates their successes and builds their self-esteem.
Coletta Collections would like to encourage our customers and supporters to observe Developmental Disability Awareness Month by making intentional choices, small or large, to increase awareness of people with disabilities and shed a light on their potential, value and contributions as fellow citizens. So, you may be wondering what you can do to bolster and further this cause? Of course, you decide what type of advocacy in which you might participate, but if you are unsure, we have some suggestions!
Using “people first language” is something you can start immediately! It’s a respectful, purposeful way of speaking or writing about a person with a disability. Many times, when people are talking about a person with a disability they may say “My autistic friend…” The issue is the disability is addressed before the person and seen as an encompassing definition of the person. Addressing the person first “My friend has autism…” suggests that before anything else this is a person, who happens to have autism. If you’re still unsure how to phrase things in a people first way, click here to see some more examples!
Another way to participate this month is to stay informed of issues relating to people with disabilities and participate in advocacy activities to work toward positive changes within your own community. You can sign up for a newsletter with The Arc of Northern Virginia or St. Coletta’s Mailing List. Don’t live in Virginia, don’t fret, there is an Arc in every state, just google it!
Last, seek out and patronize businesses and organizations that employ or support individuals with disabilities. Purchasing goods and/or services or giving a donation will assist in keeping individuals with disabilities employed and those people that participate in day programs to have an increased quality of life and the freedom to make choices. Did you know that at Coletta Collections all profits earned are reinvested back into the program to buy supplies, to pay our individuals a living wage and then put back into the programs provided by St. Coletta of Greater Washington. So, shop with a cause and know you're creating a positive impact on the life of a person with a disability! Sign up here to receive special offers and updates from Coletta Collections. Did you know that you can add a donation for St. Coletta with every purchase? On our checkout page all you have to do is select the donation amount you'd like to give -or enter your own!
As we head quickly towards spring, warmer temperatures and getting back outside for socially distant gatherings, you may find yourself needing that little extra something to complete your outfit. Your friends are sure to notice your new fashionable accessories and you can take the opportunity to share the meaning and impact of your purchase at Coletta Collections!