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President Trump's reported to be ready to sign disaster relief bill without money for border security. Also on the Friday rundown: House bills would give millions a path to citizenship; and remembering California’s second-deadliest disaster.

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Iowans with Developmental Disabilities Encouraged to Share Their Stories

People with developmental disabilities contribute to a more diverse community when employers hire them for administrative or support roles and other appropriate jobs. (Tatiana Dyuvbanova/ Twenty20)
People with developmental disabilities contribute to a more diverse community when employers hire them for administrative or support roles and other appropriate jobs. (Tatiana Dyuvbanova/ Twenty20)
March 8, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa – Every day, 7 million people with developmental disabilities work harder than many other Americans to lead self-determined lives, and this is the month when those hard-won efforts are recognized.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, highlighting the contributions people with disabilities are making in Iowa, and across the country.

That can often mean working and thriving in the community you call home, according to Brooke Lovelace, executive director of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council.

"We're all people first, and no matter what type of background or what type of abilities you do have, that's important to keep in mind, that we're people first – before you can attribute anything else to a characteristic of the person," she states.

More than 350,000 Iowans live with a developmental disability, which is defined as a condition developed before age 22 that can create limitations.

The Iowa Council will share its stories this month as part of its social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter at #DDAwareness19.

Lovelace was disappointed last week when Walmart announced it would transition its traditional in-store greeters to being customer hosts, noting the move could disproportionately affect workers with disabilities.

She says finding a job that allows independence when you have a disability can be challenging, as biases and fears sometimes cause employers to overlook many capable people.

"But we still hear stories that employment is still really low for the folks with development disabilities,” she states. “And I think if people are more a part of their community and I think the more people can get to know people, the more that those fears will go away."

After nationwide criticism for the move, Walmart said it would extend the transition period for the greeters to their new role.

The proclamation making March National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was signed in 1987.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA