MARCH is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and the National Disability Rights Network have created a campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as barriers that people with disabilities sometimes face when connecting with the communities they live in.

This week (March 27-31, 2017) the focus is on life side by side. A person is said to have a Developmental Disability if they have a mental and/or physical disability that substantially limits three or more major life activities and manifested prior to age 22. In the CNMI three groups that assist people with developmental disabilities are, the CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and the Protection & Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities program, also known as the DD Tri-Agency works to ensure people with Developmental Disabilities have the supports they need to live side by side with others in our islands.

The CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities are men and women who are committed to improving the lives of hundreds of CNMI residents with disability. We are passionate and are focused on issues related to self-determination, education, employment, transportation, housing, recreation, healthcare and overall quality of life of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Their mission is to promote systems change to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have the same opportunities as others in the community.

Northern Marianas College- University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Program is committed to the development of culturally complimentary outcomes while promoting equal opportunity, independence, productivity, promoting self-determination, and supporting an improved quality of life for people with developmental disabilities in their villages, the commonwealth, and the world around us.

The Protection & Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities program is administered by the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. and is the state designated P&A program that protects the civil and legal rights of people with developmental disabilities who have been subject to abuse, neglect and/or have other rights violations.

The CNMI Tri Agency works to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are given an equal opportunity to live, work, and play on our islands as we experience life side by side.

For more information on the programs and services available to support people with developmental disabilities, please contact CDD at 664-7000/1; UCEDD at 234-5498 Ext. 6808/6802; or NMPASI at 235-7273/4.