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Civic Engagement

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Civic Engagement Initiative

NACDD believes that people with disabilities have a valuable role to play as active citizens of the communities in which they live.  Their involvement builds personal connections in the community, helps to break down misconceptions about people living with developmental disabilities and enables them to contribute back to their community as civic volunteers and partners.  Using person-centered, community-centered and purposeful learning approaches that are not currently part of the field of developmental disabilities will lead to systemic change in the civic engagement process at the local level.

In 2013, NACDD engaged DD Councils in discussions to advance civic engagement projects.  Thus far, at least 19 DD Councils have participated in building their knowledge on the subject and initiated local investments. Early results are promising for many states and an evaluation process will be conducted at the end of the first year.

State Spotlight: Georgia

GCDD Gardeningf

The Georgia DD Council’s work in creating inclusive communities or Real Communities as they call their program has served as an inspiration for our collective work in civic and community engagement though every DD Council’s project should be unique and appropriate to the local area.

In Georgia, they began with a community garden project that brought together members of an immigrant farming community with area people with I/DD over some seeds and a plot of land. The result was more than just a productive garden. More importantly the activity increased understanding by the immigrant community of the capacity of people with I/DD to be active members of their society, improved self-esteem in those with I/DD as they saw the fruits of their labors, a joint-venture at a local farmer’s market that showed the community how these varied people worked together and the distribution by the I/DD community of fresh produce to elderly local residents who rely on food assistance.

To learn more about the Georgia DD Council Real Communities program, click here.

Partnerships for Civic Engagement

Civic Solve Logo

NACDD is partnering with CivicSolve to work with DD Councils to strategize and create their own civic engagement projects over the next few years.

Close Up Foundation Logo

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) is pleased to announce a partnership with Close Up Washington DC. The two organizations have agreed, in principle, to form a partnership focused on continuing NACDD’s effort to build civic capacity among its network of Councils while furthering Close Up’s outreach to include students with disabilities in their trainings.