March is National Mental Retardation Awareness Month |

March is National Mental Retardation Awareness Month

Since 1979, The Arc of the United States has sponsored National Mental Retardation Awareness Month in March.During the month, The Arc increases public awareness of mental retardation, a condition which affects more than 7 million Americans and their families.The American Association on Mental Retardation defines mental retardation as “a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.” According to the association, mental retardation typically originates before the age of 18.One example of how communities can increase awareness of mental retardation is hosting Sabbath/Sunday Weekend on or around March 13. Sabbath/Sunday Weekend offers a special opportunity for churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations to recognize the needs and abilities of people with mental retardation and their families.Sabbath/Sunday Weekend promotes the opportunity for mentally retarded individuals to work, live, play, and worship alongside people with and without disabilities.

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