A Message from our CEO to Honor Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Dear Friends,

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM). This was established in 1987 to raise awareness about the need for inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life and the barriers they still experience. Developmental disabilities (I/DD) include a variety of conditions such as autism, Down Syndrome, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and spina bifida. We take time each year to raise awareness about developmental disabilities, recognize the achievements and future potential of people with developmental disabilities, and reflect upon what can be done to eliminate the obstacles and barriers that still prohibit some from leading full lives. The theme for 2023 is Beyond the Conversation. My interpretation of the theme is what are we doing, beyond our conversations, to further promote full inclusion.

At Birch Family Services, our mission is a simple one – empower people with autism and other developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. Our integrated supports and services for individuals and their families stretch across the lifespan. Our person-centered approach supports individuals in achieving their life goals. The robust services afforded the children, adolescents, adults, and families seeking our support through our innovative education, transition, life skills, prevocational, employment, family support and residential programs, empower those we support to reach their fullest potential. All of this is done in partnership with all our stakeholders and talented staff who are motivated by a deep sense of dedication and compassion. Our unwavering commitment to making an impact is imbedded in our belief that this social justice movement must continue to eliminate the barriers that continue to prohibit the full participation of people with developmental disabilities in our communities.

This month, we encourage everyone to take the time to learn more about developmental disabilities, reflect on what you may be able to do to raise awareness, create opportunity, breakdown barriers, and promote equity and celebrate the abilities and inclusion of people with I/DD. I am sharing with you this flyer and to learn more about developmental disabilities and to share with your friends and family to raise awareness and celebrate the contributions people with I/DD make each day.

We are proud to be part of a community that values the potential of every individual. Together, we can continue to create a world that is accepting of all children, adolescents, and adults, regardless of their abilities.


Matt Sturiale
President & CEO
Birch Family Services