Diversity & Equity Newsletter

March 2023

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The History of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

In 1987, Ronald Reagan first declared March to be National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in order to increase “public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.”

This month has been used during the past 36 years to share stories from the Developmental Disability Community, raise awareness toward the needs of the community, and encourage inclusion and access for individuals with developmental disabilities.

What is a Developmental Disability?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities are defined as impairments in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. Developmental Disability is a broad category used to describe many disabilities, including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • ADHD
  • Down Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Other Developmental Delays

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A Short Film Recommendation

The Beautiful Colors of Jeremy Sicile-Kira is a 9-minutes short film following nonspeaking Autistic Artist Jeremy Sicile-Kira. In the film, Jeremy describes the way he interacts with the world and shows how he creates his beautiful abstract paintings. He uses spelling to communicate his thoughts and feelings in a well thought out and beautiful way.

This film is featured on PBS and is free to watch! It can be found by clicking the link above.

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Rock Your Socks for World Down Syndrome Day!

Tuesday, March 21st, 8am

This is an online event.

Join ASUA and others globally by wearing silly socks for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD)!

March 21 is recognized annually as World Down Syndrome Day. This date was chosen to represent Trisomy 21, another name for Down Syndrome, which is caused by having an extra (3rd) copy of the 21st chromosome.

We wear silly mismatched socks on WDSD because chromosomes are shaped like socks. Our brightly colored socks celebrate diversity and promote awareness. When someone asks why you are wearing mismatched socks, you can tell them you are raising awareness for Down Syndrome!

Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary

Check out the Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary for current terms and language used to talk about diversity topics. This document will be frequently updated to keep on top of the ever-changing conversations about language usage.

Diversity & Equity Suggestion Box

Do you have a topic or issue for the Diversity & Equity Committee to discuss? Have you found a resource, tool, etc you think would be beneficial to our goals? Do you have any questions or suggestions? This form is anonymous.

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