Open Up: Michigan launches "Inclusion" campaign during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 19, 2019

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council) is advocating for the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) with a multi-year campaign aimed at creating fully inclusive communities, educational environments and employment opportunities.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the right to be full and active members in their community, and to be valued as equals to all residents,”

said Vendella Collins, executive director of the DD Council. “This new Inclusion campaign shows that every person has a role in creating a fully inclusive society – it starts with opening your mind and inviting individuals to participate.” 

The initial campaign focuses on building inclusive communities through employment opportunities. People with disabilities are a large, untapped pool of loyal, hardworking and highly motivated workers. As of 2017, only 19 percent of people with I/DD are employed in the state.

Including people with disabilities in the community requires intentional practices and policies that identify and remove physical, communication and attitudinal barriers.

To be more inclusive, communities should be welcoming and engage all members of the community. It is important to see people as a friend, a neighbor, and as a contributing member to the community. An inclusive community treats all of its members equitably and recognizes their value. 

The DD Council is an advocacy organization that helps people with developmental and intellectual disabilities have the opportunities and support to achieve their full potential and life dreams. The DD Council is housed within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn more by visiting Michigan.gov/DDCouncil. To view the campaign, visit the MDHHS YouTube page.

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