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Date Posted: 03/11/2020

Governor Declares March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

For Immediate Release:
March 11, 2020

Media Contacts: 

Amy Webb
Chief of Communications

Marci Manley
Deputy Chief of Communications


DDSAwareness 2020

Governor Declares March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Job Shadowing Opportunities Offered by Local Businesses

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) --- Individuals with developmental disabilities, local business owners, and state officials gathered this afternoon at the Arkansas State Capitol as Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed March 2020 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Arkansans with developmental disabilities were celebrated for their value in the state workforce and their communities, and local business owners were recognized for providing job shadowing opportunities.

“We want to help our clients with developmental disabilities to be independent and productive in their communities,” said Melissa Stone, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) at the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). “These are capable and dependable people, and we need more businesses in Arkansas to give people with developmental disabilities a chance to show their talents.” 

The employment rate of working-age Arkansans with disabilities was 31.3 percent in 2018, according to a report by the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. The DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Arkansas Rehabilitation Services have partnered to coordinate job shadowing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. The opportunities will be offered by participating businesses throughout the month of March.

The following businesses will display window decals to show that they are participating community partners for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2020 supported employment initiative:

Supported employment for people with disabilities is an ongoing initiative. State agencies regularly partner through programs like the State Agency Model Employer (SAME) and the Employment First initiative to offer employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. The Blue Umbrella gift shop in the DHS central office in Little Rock also provides employment opportunities year-round for people with developmental disabilities.

For more information on the job shadowing opportunities available during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, visit humanservices.arkansas.gov/about-dhs/ddds/dd-awareness-month.

Photos and video from the Proclamation 


Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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