Governor Newsom Proclaims Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring March 2024, as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:


California is proud to join states around the country raising awareness about the many ways in which people with intellectual and developmental disabilities contribute to strong, diverse communities across our state. This March, we shine a light on the work underway to drive inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and reaffirm our collective commitment to breaking down the barriers they face in connecting to the communities where they live.

More than 400,000 Californians who have intellectual and developmental disabilities are served at the California Department of Developmental Services’ 21 regional centers. Since 2019, the number of Californians served by the state’s developmental services system has grown by 31%, with significant growth among young people under the age of 22 who have an Autism diagnosis.

Over the last decade, California has prioritized the integration of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their communities while avoiding institutional settings. California is the only state in the nation that provides developmental services and supports as an entitlement, with an intentional focus on home and community-based services.

In partnership with the Legislature, my Administration has made historic investments to increase service provider rates to improve quality, access, and sustainability within California’s developmental services system. This year, California’s Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) is beginning the development of a Master Plan for Developmental Services to leverage these investments and strengthen accessibility, quality, and equity for all consumers and families – no matter their demographic groups, geographic region, or socioeconomic status. Recognizing that California’s developmental services system is deeply connected to other health and social systems, the Master Plan will seek to create and strengthen bridges between critical systems across CalHHS, as well as other systems and services including education, housing, employment, transportation, and public safety.

California is making important strides to realize a more equitable, person-centered, and data-driven developmental services system based on quality, health equity, outcomes, and accountability. We’ll continue working across sectors and disciplines to ensure that all Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the opportunity to thrive and contribute to all facets of life in their neighborhoods and communities.

NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim March 2024, as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 1st day of March 2024.

GAVIN NEWSOMGovernor of California

ATTEST:SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D.Secretary of State



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