Disability is non-discriminate and affects children and families of all race, ethnicity, language, gender, religion, class, sexual orientation, culture, identity, location, etc. However, equal access to services, early identification and interventions has been shown to vary. Often families from low incomes face barriers to equitable healthcare, medical treatment and early interventions. Other pressing issues include the overrepresentation of students of color in special education, delay or misdiagnosis of children in minority groups, and lack of culturally specific or appropriate screenings and interventions. Discrepancies and disparities can increase developmental risk and need to be given more attention.
This is not acceptable. Diversity should be both celebrated and supported in our Minnesota communities. Every family deserves access to information on developmental milestones to celebrate their child’s unique developmental journey, developmental screening, effective support and interventions.
One of the main goals of the Minnesota “Learn The Signs. Act Early.” campaign is to reach out to underserved and diverse communities. We want to work towards making the highest standard of care including education on child development, health, family-centered care and guidance available to current underserved communities. Some of our initiatives have included placing a focus on diversity, increasing our visibility, translating materials, partnering with community organizations, and disseminating information on appropriate developmental screening.