WHEREAS, over 11,500 Alaskans are estimated to have a developmental disability; and
WHEREAS, people with developmental disabilities share the same dreams and desires of all Alaskans; to be successful, independent, contribute to the workforce in a meaningful way, and have strong lasting ties to their communities; and
WHEREAS, public awareness and understanding are valuable ways to address the barriers individuals with developmental disabilities face, and to educate the public on supporting individuals as they connect to their communities; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the many contributions and accomplishments people with developmental disabilities make and we recognize more can, and should, be done in our communities as we work toward inclusion and togetherness in our schools, workplace, and all areas of life; and
WHEREAS, the entire developmental disability community has come together around a shared vision for the future of the Developmental Disability System in Alaska, stated as follows:
“Alaskans share a vision of a flexible system in which each person directs their own supports, based on their strengths and abilities, toward a meaningful life in their home, their job, and their community. Our vision includes supported families, professional staff, and services available throughout the state now and into the future”; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the advocates, leaders, family members, and professionals who have sought to bring people with disabilities into the conversation and seek to help people with developmental disabilities achieve their goals.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as:
Developmental Disability Awareness Month
in Alaska, and ask all Alaskans to celebrate and support the diversity and capabilities of all our citizens, particularly those who experience developmental disabilities.