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‘Day at the Capitol’ Event Set on March 4

February 16, 2021, 11:10 AM HST
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Hawai‘i’s annual day of recognition highlighting those citizens with developmental disabilities is going virtual this year.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that he will declare March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” in Hawai‘i during the 21st annual “Day at the Capitol.” The event is scheduled for March 4, 2021, from 9 am to 3 pm and will be held entirely via ZOOM.

The theme is “Treat All People with Equal Rights. Respect All.”

Although the event cannot be live during this pandemic year, organizers anticipate about 300 virtual attendees from throughout the state including individuals, family members, service providers, friends and advocates. This special annual event builds awareness of the abilities and strengths of our Hawai‘i neighbors with developmental disabilities.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Hawai‘i is part of a national campaign to raise public awareness and build understanding. The Hawai‘i event is sponsored by the Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Division and the Hawai‘i State Council on Developmental Disabilities, which works to support residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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“This year’s theme encourages people to understand that we all deserve to be respected. We all are equal,” said Daintry Bartoldus, executive administrator of the Hawai‘i State Council on Developmental Disabilities. “When we start recognizing our similarities, everyone benefits.”

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Participants may sign up for this event through Eventbrite until Thursday, Feb. 18 by going online. After Feb. 18, RSVP via email at [email protected].

In addition to the Governor’s proclamation, state legislators will recognize participants during House and Senate Floor sessions. This will occur between between 9:15–10 am.

Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss developmental disabilities-related issues and concerns with state legislators from their home districts, attend public hearings, take a virtual tour of the State Capitol, give testimony at a mock hearing, learn the legislative process through the Public Access Room and network with fellow attendees.

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An estimated 22,600 people in Hawai‘i live with a developmental disability. The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic mental or physical impairment that restricts the ability to function and requires support services. A few examples include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism.

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