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Disability Awareness

Disability Awareness vs. Similarity Awareness - (PDF; size=439k) Dedicated advocates across the country routinely present disability awareness workshops to audiences of students, community members, and others. Their efforts are an attempt to educate others about people with disabilities, in order to decrease discrimination and/or create a positive environment for an individual with a disability in a typical setting of a classroom, job, and so forth. But we can do better, as I'll detail after taking a closer look at the flaws in traditional disability awareness techniques.


NICHCY Disability Awareness Resource List - NICHCY receives many calls each year from people who are looking for materials on disability awareness. People need these materials for many different reasons, from classroom instructional units, to Girl Scout information fairs, to school reports. This listing of Resources You Can Use provides just a sample of selected materials available from different organizations.

Official 'Awareness': When Simulations Work - As part of the blind community, I have been opposed to disability simulation exercises, believing they lead more to fear than to enlightenment. However, other members of the Fresno ADA Advisory Council, a cross-disability group working with city government agencies, persuaded me to go along with their desire to inaugurate the first Disability Awareness Day on October 15, 2003 with disability simulation activities for city officials. The results were astounding.


Awareness Days: Some Alternatives to Simulation Exercises - A staple of 'Awareness Days' is the simulation exercise: Put a non-disabled person in a wheelchair. Tie on a blindfold. But these tactics are often criticized as sending the wrong message. What are the alternatives? Chapman University's Art Blaser has a few suggestions.

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