By Michael Rock:

March marks Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Nationwide, private, and public efforts to recognize it are occurring.

Bethesda Lutheran Communities, a Watertown, Wisconsin-headquartered nonprofit, has promoted a call to action for better including people with disabilities in all areas of life.

Meanwhile, Hawai’i Governor David Ige formally recognized the month of March accordingly this year at a day-long proclamation signing that included opportunities for advocates to discuss disability-related issues to Hawai’i state legislators.

In Picayune, Mississippi, the ARC of Pearl River County will host a daylong event on the county’s fairgrounds to recognize the month. Attractions will include police dog and rodeo demonstrations, cornhole, face painting, manicures, and numerous other fun activities.

Athens County, Ohio, also recognized the month with a march to promote awareness of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

All of these different observances of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month are just a few of the many ways that the month can be honored. Moreso, they are a key stepping stone to promoting equality and acceptance.

Michael Rock is a New York City-based reporter and self-advocate with autism. A graduate of Brandeis University, his work has appeared in Kings County Politics, Chelsea Now, Our Town, Queens County Politics, and WhoWhatWhy.