New Program Seeks to Increase Services to Infants and Toddlers with Developmental Delays and Disabilities
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- District officials have unveiled a new initiatve that focuses on signs of developmental disabilities and delays in children from birth to age three.
The Strong Start campaign was launched Sept. 26 and its theme, "Don't Wait and Wonder," encourages parents and other caregivers with concerns about a child's development to sign up for a no-cost evaluation.
Officials for Strong Start, formerly known as the DC Early Intervention Program, will also be able to determine families'eligibility for services.
"For children with developmental disabilities, we know that early intervention works and that better outcomes are the result," said Gray. "My education agenda focuses on a holistic approach to educating our children from birth through age 24, and the Strong Start program is one important component of our efforts. Through this campaign, we are giving children and their families a fighting chance."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17 percent of children in the United States have a developmental disability. Currently, in the District of Columbia, hundreds of eligible children are not receiving services. However, through Strong Start, families will receive individualized care that addresses each child's specific needs.
Beginning this week, radio and television commercials along with Metro transit ads and other educational materials will promote the initiative among District residents.
"We want to assure those families that we can and will help," said Hosanna Mahaley, state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia. "We believe that the launch of the campaign in collaboration with other projects including the mayor's One City vision, will work to provide that strong start for our children."