This year has unquestionably been one for the record books, as 2020 brought with it new and unforeseen challenges. (We’re looking at you, COVID.)
But while it would be easy to reflect on all the difficulties of 2020, it’s important to remember all the beautiful things that happened this year too. Because there is always light, even in the dark times, and that deserves to be celebrated.
So let’s take a look at 2020 and all the wonderful things it brought.
Our biggest National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month yet
Every March we celebrate National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to reflect on everything people with disabilities have accomplished and to look forward at what has yet to be done. And even though our month-long celebration was cut short due to COVID, we still made a tremendous impact within the disability field. In fact, during the course of the month, more than 70 million people heard our message of independence, inclusion and community for people of all abilities.
The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed an historic act into law: the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). This law is written to safeguard equal opportunity and ensure people with disabilities have equal rights at work and in the community. And while there’s still work to be done, it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come. Since 1990, the ADA has helped millions of Americans, as it continues to remove physical, social and cultural barriers for people with disabilities and those who love them.
A game-changing way for people with disabilities to live
In September, we celebrated the grand opening of Bethesda Cornerstone Village, a first-of-its-kind residential community designed to unite people of all abilities in a loving, supportive environment. We opened the first development in Victoria, Minn., and have plans to expand, with sites identified for future developments throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and California. This innovative way to live will help break through boundaries and create inclusion for people with disabilities—and we’re only just getting started.
COVID has made 2020 tough. And perhaps nobody knows that better than our Direct Support Professionals and staff working on the front lines to keep the people we support safe. Is it that strength, tenacity and compassion that tells us not only that this too shall pass, but that the future will be brighter than ever.