The first annual celebration of Autism Awareness/Autism Acceptance Month by the Developmental Disabilities Council was a tremendous success. Numerous organizations were represented, and the turnout of people interested in receiving and sharing information was outstanding. I even heard about one young person who just happened by to learn what autism is all about, so that was a great teachable moment! Thank you to everyone who exhibited, everyone who attended (especially the autistic young people who came to advocate for themselves!), and to all of you who work year-round to celebrate the strengths of D.C. residents with disabilities while ensuring the right supports are available to them.
I’d like to thank DD Council executive director Alison Whyte, as well as Sudie Johnson and Denise McCain from the Council staff, for all their effort in putting the logistics together and staffing the event. I’d also like to give a shout-out to Mat McCollough, director of D.C.’s Office of Disability Rights, and to Andy Reese, director of the D.C. Department on Disability Services, for taking the time to come by and show their support.
We expect to make this an annual event, demonstrating the commitment of your Developmental Disabilities Council to “representing” on behalf of all people with developmental disabilities across the District. Councilmember Nadeau, other D.C. councilmembers, and Mayor Bowser, please take note:
D.C. has citizens with autism as well as other developmental disabilities that do not qualify as intellectual disabilities, and they deserve meaningful supports which they are not now getting. The DD Council and its partners are dedicated to remedying this shortfall in the District’s services for its residents with disabilities, so join us!
Carol Grigsby shares information and advocates on issues affecting her own son and other citizens with developmental disabilities in Washington, D.C. She is currently chair of D.C.'s State Council on Developmental Disabilities, as well as serving on the board of the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and on the Family Support Council of D.C.'s Department on Disability Services. She retired from the federal government’s senior executive service in 2011 and has lived in D.C. since 1978. Find her tweets @DDinWDC!