WHEREAS, developmental disabilities affect more than an estimated 11,500 Alaskan children, adults, and families; and
WHEREAS, a developmental disability is a lifelong, chronic mental or physical impairment that manifests itself before a person reaches the age of 22 and often results in substantial functional limitations in someone’s key life activities, such as self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning mobility, self-direction, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and
WHEREAS, public knowledge and understanding are among the most effective strategies for addressing the serious challenges associated with developmental disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the developmental disabilities community in Alaska has come together to share a vision for the future of Alaska; one in which each person directs his or her own supports, based on the individual’s strengths and abilities, toward a meaningful life in his or her home, job, and community; and
WHEREAS, the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education and developmental disability advocates and providers around the state, are working to support families and make services available now and into the future; and
WHEREAS, we appreciate the contributions of individuals and organizations to make a lasting impact in addressing the challenges of Alaskans with developmental disabilities.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 2020 as:
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to celebrate and support the diversity and abilities of all our citizens, particularly those who experience developmental disabilities.