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Disability Awareness: Information, Programs and Dates

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/01/05

Synopsis: Information on disability awareness and educating people regarding disabilities including disability etiquette guidelines in the community.

Main Document

What is Disability Awareness?

The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people. Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge required to carry out a job or task thus separating good practice from poor. It is no longer enough just to know that disability discrimination is unlawful.

For instance disability awareness relates to topics such as a recent paper released by the Council for Disability Awareness that examines the lack of awareness of the risks and the financial burden that an unexpected accident or illness can have on retirement savings.

Despite the fact that 3 in 10 workers entering the workforce today will become disabled before retiring, disability is often overlooked as a threat to long-term financial security.

Hidden Disability Awareness

  • People with hidden disabilities often do not feel like they belong within the disability community because they are not considered to be "disabled enough" to fit into the group.
  • People with hidden disabilities are caught between not being fully accepted as people without disabilities, and not being recognized as having "real" disabilities.

Disability Awareness Week

  • Disability Awareness Week (DAW) continues the tradition of National Access Awareness Week first established in 1988 to promote better community access for people with disabilities.
  • Disability Awareness Week covers all types of disabilities and all age groups in partnerships with any interested supporters. See our List of Awareness Days, Weeks and Months for other observance dates.

Disability Etiquette

A yellow sign hanging from white scaffolding with the symbols for a male, female, and disability bathroom, and baby changing rooms next to an arrow pointing right - Photo Credit: Paul Green on Unsplash.
A yellow sign hanging from white scaffolding with the symbols for a male, female, and disability bathroom, and baby changing rooms next to an arrow pointing right - Photo Credit: Paul Green on Unsplash.

Disability etiquette are guidelines dealing specifically with how to approach people with disabilities and were initially created to challenge social conventions rather than to reinforce them.

Most disability etiquette guidelines seem to be predicated on a simple dictate: "Do not assume..."

They are written to address real and perceived shortcomings in how society as a whole treats people with disabilities.

"Disability etiquette" exists to draw attention to common assumptions and misconceptions through the provision of guidelines that contradict them. More than that, however, these guidelines are evolving to approximate social etiquette among the non-disabled, in hope that people with disabilities will be treated with "common courtesy."

- McGrattan, 2001.

Museum of Disability History

The Museum of Disability History is a museum related to the history of people with disabilities from medieval times to the present era.

Located in Williamsville, New York, USA, it is the only "bricks and mortar" museum dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities in the United States.

With, and on behalf of, individuals with developmental and other disabilities, the Museum seeks to promote a higher level of societal awareness and understanding, and a change in attitudes, perceptions and actions that will result in people with disabilities having the greatest possible participation in their communities.

Awareness Ribbons

Many causes promote their awareness by the wearing of a particular color ribbon. Here is a list of awareness ribbons for some of the causes and the colors they use.

Our disability awareness articles will start readers on their way to a better understanding of disability issues and the disability community as a whole.

Disability education brings attitudes to the surface, where they can be examined consciously, rather than putting students together and hoping for the best. It's not surprising that, despite the best of intentions, students with disabilities who participate in inclusion programs may continue to feel left out.

Teaching Children Disability Etiquette

Age appropriate education and refreshers are very important to teach our children. Many kids with disabilities are being integrated into the mainstream of the public school system. In order to achieve a successful integration, it is important to implement disability awareness. In addition, today's children are our future; teaching them tolerance of those who are differently Abled now, ensures a more accepting society in years to come.

Teaching Kids Disability Etiquette - Kimberly Carnevale - (2009-01-28)



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