(INDIANAPOLIS) – For the second year in a row, a state agency charged with advocating for Hoosiers with disabilities is rolling out an education initiative aimed at improving understanding and promoting inclusion throughout Indiana.
The Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities has created a list of 31 tips on disability to be delivered daily throughout the month of March. Tips will be published through Facebook and Twitter and will educate on ways to promote the equality and inclusion of all Hoosiers. This year’s tips have been updated and will be displayed as graphic images and as short videos, which is new to this year’s initiative.
Some examples of the tips include:
- People with disabilities are, first and foremost, people. Respect them by talking to them just like you would anyone else.
- Unless someone asks you otherwise, stick to “person with a disability” instead of “a disabled person.” Emphasize the person, not the disability.
- Ask if you can help someone before just doing it. Assuming someone can’t do something is rude.
- Disability is a natural part of life; people with disabilities are living with them, not suffering from them.
- Having a disability is much more common than people think. You have an 80 percent chance of experiencing a disability before the age of 65.
“We’re looking forward to using the 31 tips initiative again this year to help educate Hoosiers during Disability Awareness Month,” said Christine Dahlberg, the Governor’s Council executive director. “The new videos of the tips will be a great way to further engage the public, and sharing them on social media will make it easy for everyone to get involved.”
The initiative will be utilized during March as part of Indiana Disability Awareness Month. The month is crucial for educating the public, promoting acceptance and ending stereotypes regarding disabilities.
While designed to serve as their own initiative, the 31 tips are also helping share the Disability Awareness Month theme: “Be Cool. We Are.” This theme promotes the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated, regardless of the differences between people. The campaign focuses on the importance of being comfortable in your own skin and making the conscious decision to be yourself because acting differently around someone with a disability is not cool.
To get involved with the Governor’s Council campaign and to help spread awareness, visit www.indianadisabilityawareness.org. To view each tip during March and to share them as they are released, visit www.facebook.com/GCPDIndiana or www.twitter.com/GCPDIndiana.
Media members and outlets that want to want to publish previews of the 31 tips can download examples here: www.dropbox.com.
About Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities
The Indiana Governor’s Council is an independent state agency that facilitates change. The Council’s mission is to advance the independence, productivity and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. The Council is charged with promoting change so both the public and private sectors can be most responsive to people with disabilities. It also focuses on creating and implementing innovative programs that are visionary, influencing public policy, empowering individuals and families and advocating for systems change. The Governor appoints board members of the Council and 60 percent must be people with disabilities or their family members.