Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2024

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the experiences of people living with developmental disabilities. This year’s DDAM theme is “A World of Opportunities” and celebrates the inclusion of all people and the chance for everyone to thrive.

Hear from Visions’ Special Education Community

This year for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we partnered with Visions’ Champions Club and SPED Art & Social Club to learn more about what the Special Education community and Visions mean to our special needs students and their families.

“It’s the chance to socialize with other kids in the group that have our disabilities,” says Champions Club member Anastacia. For club member Nazha, it’s the chance to see other students in-person, like during their club field trips to the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity and In-N-Out Burger.

“It [the Champions Club] gives us an opportunity to have our students participate in something,” says Adam Grounds, Champions Club Advisor and SPED Case Manager. “This club is open to everybody, and it allows us to have something a little structured for our students.” 

Whether it’s painting, talking, or just being in the company of other students, both the Champions Club and the Art & Social Club give students a safe space to come together to learn and play. For the families of these students, they are especially appreciative of “an environment that is accepting and safe” and “the opportunity…to be able to engage in social experiences.”

“Having a safe and fun environment for students with disabilities means creating a space where they feel physically and emotionally secure while also having opportunities for enjoyable and meaningful experiences. It involves ensuring accessibility, both in terms of physical accommodations and support for diverse learning needs,” explains Jenn Apgar, Art & Social Club Advisor and Lead SPED Case Manager. “Ultimately, a safe and fun environment for students with disabilities promotes their well-being, empowerment, and sense of belonging within the educational community. I am honored to be able to be a partner in the process.”

“This is why I teach SPED – to be an advocate and a voice for the students who can’t speak for themselves,” says Ken Mewborn, Champions Club Advisor and SPED Case Manager. “I love it. I love the families. It’s service to me.”

Click through the photos below to check out some art work made by our SPED students!

About the Champions Club and SPED Art & Social Club

The Champions Club provides students with an opportunity to engage in activities and discussions designed to help foster awareness of the experiences and issues that impact Students with Special Needs. The SPED Art & Social Club is an opportunity for all students to come together to meet new friends, socialize, try new art mediums, and embrace the freedom of creativity. Students of all abilities are encouraged to join both clubs.

For more information or to join either of these clubs, please visit the Student Clubs Page.