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March 16, 2015

The Third #SidebySideDDAM2015 newsletter celebrating togetherness and self-advocacy stories

MARCH 2015
DDAM logo Green
Celebrating Togetherness during DDAM
Help raise awareness by sharing ways people with and without developmental disabilities make contributions to their communities side-by-side!


What is Self-Advocacy? video
Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem solving, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination. Learn more at:
Simply stated, self-advocacy is people with disabilities speaking up for their rights and for the rights of others. Disability rights are civil rights. 
Click on the links below to hear directly from advocates about what
self-advocacy means to them.
To learn more about advocacy and policy, tune in each week for "Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All." Check out this episode where she discusses the upcoming Disability Policy Seminar April 13-15

NACDD invites you to share photos, stories, & videos of people with & without disabilities participating together in community life.


How can I participate?
To participate in the campaign just post your photos, with a brief description, stories or videos directly to NACDD's Facebook page and/or Twitter account and tag it #sidebysideDDAM2015. *
Each week throughout the month of March you will receive a new email. Forward the information to others and encourage them to participate as well. For questions about the campaign or if you do not have access to Facebook or Twitter, contact Angela Castillo-Epps or call 202-506-5813 ext.100


* When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture). In addition, NACDD reserves the right to potentially use select entries for future advocacy efforts, campaigns, and publications and social media.

Celebrating Togetherness during DDAM Advocating Side-by-Side for Inclusive Communities
Working Together for Change
Aaron Kaufman, Vice-Chair of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Public Policy Specialist for The Arc Maryland, is a staunch advocate for the civil rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Pictured right, he works side-by-side with families, providers, delegates and other concerned community members during Developmental Disabilities (DD) Day at the Legislature. DD Day, which drew a record 600 participants, brought together people with and without disabilities to educate policymakers on the importance of full community inclusion.
For more pictures of Side-by-Side advocacy visit the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council's Facebook page.
Selfadvocate and senator
From L to R, Mr. Kaufman & Del. Antonio Hayes at DD Day, February 19, 2015.
woman volunteering
Lynette & Sen. Lefleur working together to advocate for people with disabilities.
"The respect and support I get when I am advocating gives me hope that no matter the type of disability...I can make a difference."   ~ Lynette Fontenot
Making a Difference Side-by-Side Lynette Fontenot, a former Chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, is honored to advocate for people with disabilities to be fully included in community life. Lynette attended general education classes in public school, graduated from college and is an accomplished artist. Her passion however, is disability advocacy. Lynette uses a modified computer with Word Plus software as her voice. The computer opened the door to her advocacy as it supports her to be the voice for others when it comes to inclusive schools and communities.
To learn more about Lynette's story, see
Outside of work, both Aaron and Lynette volunteer their personal time, skills and talents to advocate for the betterment of their communities.
For more information on working side-by-side to better your community, learn about this Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities initiative, which focuses on projects that create opportunities for people with and without disabilities to work together as full partners...Real Communities.
Did you know?
Youth, with and without disabilities, glean important benefits by engaging in service learning and volunteerism. AmeriCorps has many programs for youth with and without disabilities transitioning from school to adulthood that foster leadership, increase self-determination and provide a path to employment.
Under the Heroes Earning Assistance and Relief Act of 1998, AmeriCorps members with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to their disability can receive an AmeriCorps stipend without risk of losing their disability benefits. For more information on how transitioning youth can benefit, visit Pathway to employment (NCS)