A Message from Nancy Thaler, Deputy Secretary, Office of Developmental Programs
Governor Tom Wolf today designated March as Intellectual Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania in celebration of individuals with an intellectual disability and their families.
“Intellectual Disability Awareness Month is a time for all of us to recognize the strengths and potential of people all across Pennsylvania who live with an intellectual disability,” Governor Wolf said. “Working together we can foster more opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability to thrive in our community, and our society will be richer as a result.”
“We’ve made a lot of progress since we first declared Intellectual Disability Awareness Month in 1987,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas. “With the continued dedication and support of DHS staff, community providers, and families, people with an intellectual disability will have even more opportunities in education and employment and more protections in health care, the legal system, and other areas of human rights.”
One in 10 families in the United States is directly affected by a person with an intellectual disability at some point in their lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Gov. Wolf is committed to funding programs that can help individuals with an intellectual disability to reach their full potential.
Gov. Wolf’s proposed 2016-17 budget includes an additional $12.27 million to provide home and community-based services to an additional 850 individuals with an intellectual disability or autism. His budget of $1.75 billion in state funds will continue and expand services for over 55,000 Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability or autism.
Finally, this month the DHS Facebook page will celebrate the successes of Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability and their involvement in all aspects of community life.