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DBHDS News Releases

For Immediate Release:  March 3, 2010
[ link to pdf ]

March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Virginia

Richmond –  Developmental disabilities are conservatively estimated to affect nearly 140,000 adults and children across the Commonwealth. This number includes the 71,500 adults and children over age 6 with an intellectual disability and the 1 in 91 children with an autism spectrum disorder. Citing the value and potential of individuals with such conditions, Governor Bob McDonnell proclaimed March “Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” in Virginia.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities want the same opportunities as anyone else – such as a home, employment and social activities,” said Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Interim Commissioner James W. Stewart, III. “With effective support systems close to home, most people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live successful lives and participate actively in their home communities.”

In Virginia:

Developmental disability refers to a diverse group of severe chronic conditions due to mental or physical impairments, or both, that begin before the age of 22 and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. An intellectual disability is a developmental disability that is characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and significant limitations in two or more adaptive behaviors.


Available to citizens statewide, Virginia’s public mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services system is comprised of 40 community services boards (CSBs) and 16 state facilities. DBHDS seeks to promote dignity, choice, recovery, and the highest possible level of participation in work, relationships, and all aspects of community life for individuals with a mental illness, intellectual disability or a substance-use disorder. 

1220 Bank Street P.O. Box 1797 Richmond, Virginia 23218-1797
Phone: (804) 786-3921
Fax: (804) 371-6638 Web site:


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