President Ronald Reagan declared March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month as a way to provide people with such disabilities with “the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.
That was in 1987. In 2022, the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities rebranded DD Awareness Month to DD Pride Month. Awareness wasn’t enough. The board members and major stakeholders in the community wanted March to be about celebrating everybody’s ability and uniqueness.
Teddy Carlson created Portage DD’s “My Ability is Stronger Than My Disability” slogan, and accompanied it with a colorful rainbow.
Portage County DD is marking DD Pride Month with a number of events:
- March 13: Chat with Christopher Milo, 5:30 p.m., Happy Day Services Building
- March 13: Movie Night: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania, 6 p.m., Ravenna 7 Theater
- March 14: An evening with Christopher Milo, 6 p.m., Independence of Portage County, Inc.
- March 17: OSDA Regional meeting, 10 a.m., Ravenna Oaks
- March 20: Portage Advocacy Players Theater Debut, 6 p.m., Ravenna 7 Theater
- March 22: Cardio Drumming, 6 p.m. Happy Day Services Building
- March 24: DD Pride and Awareness Rally, 10 a.m., Ravenna Courthouse
- March 27: Hike Club, 4:30 p.m., Trail Lake Park
- March 27: Chair Yoga, 5 p.m., Happy Day Services Building
- March 28: Art Show Opening Night Reception, 4:30-8 p.m., North Water Brewing Co.
- March 30: Movie Night: Champions, 7 p.m. Ravenna 7 Theater
- March 31: The Improvaneers, 7 p.m., Independence Of Portage County, Inc.
Visit portagedd.org/events for additional event information, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Also, attendees are encouraged to wear their DD Pride shirt at any DD Pride Month event. Snap a selfie, and share it on Portage DD’s Facebook page.
Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.