March is Disability Awareness Month. The intent is to bring awareness to the many disabilities that exist, to educate the public about disabilities and to honour the contributions that individuals with disabilities bring to society. There are many misconceptions in addition to a lack of acknowledgement or awareness regarding disabilities. Throughout March special events and activities are planned that bring awareness to disabilities and celebrate individuals' lives.
Mosaic Film Festival: Children's Program
Bloomington, Ind., hosts a film festival in March in observance of Disability Awareness Month. Included in the festival is a special children's program for youth ages 4 to 10. The film festival consisted of a series of short films about disabilities and the importance of accepting differences in others. The purpose of the event is to promote disability awareness and acceptance within the younger generation. The festival celebrated its third year in 2010.
Events at Austin Peay State University
The Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., dedicates part of March and April to disability awareness and educating its students as well as the public about the challenges of living with disabilities. The school also honours and celebrates the lives and accomplishments of individuals with disabilities. A series of seminars and meetings are organised to focus on the challenges that most other people overlook. A mobile unit is also available on campus for the entire month to assist individuals with disabilities by providing evaluations, workplace accommodations and employer orientation sessions.
Private Actions to Influence Public Awareness
Individuals can bring awareness to disabilities in their own communities. Wearing a silver ribbon represents disability awareness and prompts others to ask questions, says the Missouri Planning Council for Development Disabilities. Contacting local libraries, newspapers and radio stations also sparks awareness and education about disabilities to the general public. The planning council emphasises that individuals can influence change, promote education and honour individuals with disabilities.