Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

By Dr. Anne McIntosh at Safe’N’Clear and Jennifer Willey at Wet Cement

The CDC says more than 1 in 4 (27 percent) of Americans are living with a disability; and, the reality is that disabilities affect 100 percent of the population. Why? Because everyone has someone in their life who is impacted by disability. According to the National Disability Institute, President Reagan recognized March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month more than 37 years ago to raise awareness to the needs of Americans with developmental disabilities so opportunities could arise that would enable those with identified disabilities to lead full lives.

According to the CDC, developmental disabilities are defined as a group of conditions related to physical, learning, language, or behavior impairment At Safe’N’Clear, Inc., we recognize, embrace, and interact with anyone and everyone with varying abilities To that end, Safe’N’Clear is certified by as a Disability Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE); we support full communication accessibility for our customers who are deaf and hard of hearing by offering social media interaction, voice and texting capabilities on our company’s phone line, email accessibility.

Our customers have seen the Deaf Leader Series in which we highlight  members of the Deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind community who are at the forefront of educating, advocating, and turning awareness into action, especially in the fields of medicine and dentistry. As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusivity, Safe’N’Clear continues to educate our customers on the varying degree of abilities we see throughout our communities, including those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind.

My personal take as a college professor, wife, mother, and business owner is that we are not limited by disabilities as much as the BARRIERS that are put on people of varying abilities. Removing barriers brings equity in ways nothing else can match. We are committed to helping everyone have access to communication when mask use is warranted by supplying clear-window masks. The Communicator™ levels the playing field.

We are not resting on our laurels; we have more work to do. We have recently fostered a relationship with National Industries for the Blind to learn more about how we can better serve deaf-blind customers and remove more barriers. We have collaborated with Wet Cement, a company that helps lay the foundation to building inclusive, equitable and empowered organizations. Not only is Wet Cement a Woman-Owned Business that is a certified Disability-Owned Business, their Founder and CEO, Jennifer Willey, is a Safe‘N’Clear customer, who first purchased our product when communication became nearly impossible during the pandemic as she is hard of hearing and uses lip reading as a tool for understanding. We know that we can make a bigger impact together when we join forces.  Jennifer and her team are focused on removing BARRIERS that inhibit people, teams and cultures from achieving their potential.

We know we cannot change systemic issues alone. We can gain momentum by leveraging our collective skills, talents, and relationships to change our society for the better. Our goal is to build a future that is accessible and inclusive for all.

Removing barriers to increase accessibility and inclusivity is not only the right thing to do—doing so good for business and the bottom line. According to Accenture, disability-inclusive organizations have 25% higher productivity and are profitable 4x faster!

What is your organization doing to drive disability inclusion? If you are committed to making an impact – or could use help knowing how to – we are here for you.  Let’s connect to explore how we can help each other. Together, we can make an impact that improves everyone’s lives.