In recognition of March as Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Month, I would like to take the opportunity to encourage all Mississippians to learn more about intellectual and developmental disabilities. These terms cover a broad range of often misunderstood characteristics.
An intellectual disability is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and difficulties in a variety of everyday social and practical skills. A developmental disability is attributed to a cognitive or physical impairment that results in limitations in area such as self-care, language, and mobility.
Together, we are supporting a better tomorrow for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability by enhancing the public’s knowledge of individuals with IDD and how they are members of communities throughout our state. More than 41,000 fellow Mississippians are affected by an intellectual or developmental disability such as mental retardation, Cerebral Palsey, Down’s syndrome, etc.
DMH is partnering with groups in Mississippi to host the annual “IDD Day at the Capitol” on March 22 in order to enhance the public’s knowledge and awareness of individuals with IDD and how they actively participate in their communities. With the support of our partners, such as families, self-advocates and service providers, we look forward to a better tomorrow for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Edwin C. LeGrand III
Miss. Department of Mental Health