Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s clear up the lexicon this year

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Let’s clear up the lexicon this year

While watching sports coverage, it can be overwhelming when analysts on television use terminology that the casual viewer may not understand. The need to score more points and play strong defense? No problem. How a player’s salary cap hit is going to affect free agency? Not so clear.

Understandably, we may engage in industry-specific lexicon with peers while potential advocates are left scratching their heads. In our continued observation of March’s Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month throughout the year, Dirkse welcomes all who may wish to learn more about this exceptional population.

The CDC states, “Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.”

Estimates show that roughly six million Americans experience a developmental disability. Specific examples include Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or hearing and vision loss. Symptoms associated with these disabilities can lead to a lack of integration into society that too often becomes tragically permanent.

As a community provider for over twenty-three years, Dirkse supports people with disabilities to find permanent employment that suits their goals. We have observed how this underrepresented population, with the proper supports, can flourish. When the employment puzzle piece is in place, we have seen how the rest of the puzzle begins to present itself.


If you know someone impacted by a disability who is feeling ready to explore vocational options or learn more about available services, please contact Dirkse Counseling & Consulting at (503)-265-9256.