Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

The USDA People's Garden

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

April 10, 2017

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

President Reagan urged all Americans to encourage people with differing abilities to strive for opportunities that will lead to productive lives and reach their full potential.

Melwood is proud to be one of the largest employers of people with differing abilities in the Northeastern United States. Of our over 1,300 workforce, over half of our employees have at least one differing ability. According to, there are more than five million Americans, and nearly 10,000 residents of the District of Columbia who have developmental disabilities. Melwood is helping to increase their quality of life. We provide job opportunities, job training, and life sustainability skills. We also offer a series of activities throughout the year that increase their involvement in community functions and hands-on learning activities.

Activity Highlight: March Madness at Melwood – The Crossroads and PEP programs enjoyed a week full of competitive fun as they celebrated March Madness. The activities included something for all varying abilities, such as college/NBA hat day, musical chairs, tee shirt crafting, a free throw contest, obstacle course, 3-on-3-basketball games, as well as a culinary arts class discussing healthy snack options.

Join us in continuing to provide innovative programs and opportunities for people with differing abilities. Encourage your friends and family to support and sign up to volunteer at Melwood. Your support helps individuals with differing abilities succeed at home, on the job, and in the community.

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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