Developmental disability (DD) is a broad term that covers a number of chronic conditions that develop before a person is 18 years old that limit mental and/or physical functioning abilities. People with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, various genetic and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are described as having developmental disabilities.
The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics in July 2011 that revealed that over 36 million people in the United States have at least one disability.
That is just over 12% of our population that is often labeled because of what simply makes them “different” from everyone else. A person with a disability is often labeled negatively and viewed as having less to offer; this misconception is fostered when people focus solely on the “difference,” defining that person as that disability.
But none of us can truly be defined with only one adjective.
Each of us is a composite of many skills, talents, and abilities perfected in various degrees. We each have strengths and areas of expertise; conversely, we have several areas where we are simply not so skilled and must rely on others to help us out. (How many people did you know whose VCRs flashed 12:00 for years?) It is that mysterious blend mixed with ample doses of dreams, hopes, goals, and desires that begins to define our lives. By tossing in who we know, what we do, where we have been, and what we enjoy, a clearer – more complete – image of a person begins to take shape.
At CCDS, we embrace the whole person and offer a variety of services that help each person with a disability take strides in independence, inclusion and self-sufficiency. We have the privilege to empower the lives of over 330 local adults with disabilities who lead full lives and are making a positive impact on our community.
Did you know that some of our people:
- Build wiring assemblies for jets
- Volunteer weekly with Meals on Wheels
- Take community art classes
- Have taken a cruise to the Bahamas with only friends (not caretakers)
- Are married
- Have acted in local plays and in a movie
- Love a cold beer when they go to a baseball game
- Are certified in CPR and First Aid
- Know all the recent sports stats
- Have been on their job in the community over 20 years
- Drive and have bought their own homes
- Prepare surgical kits
- Volunteered to work on the Extreme Makeover house
- Bag your groceries… and remember the way you like it!