Each March, Disability Awareness Month is celebrated throughout Indiana. Given that adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population, disability awareness is important for all of us. Persons with disabilities are sometimes turned into objects of ridicule. But rather than being the butt of a joke, each individual in our campaign uses humor to open a conversation and highlight ways in which we can all understand each other better.
There are 54 million Americans with disabilities. Adults and children with disabilities represent nearly a fifth of Indiana’s population. There’s nothing funny about the ignorance and naivety that often keep us from connecting with our fellow Hoosiers.
Disability Awareness Month 2021
MARCH 1, 2021 – 5:30-6:15 pm
Disability Awareness Month Opening Session
Entertainment provided by: Anthony Duran and Alexandra “Lexie” Signor
Join us for an evening of music. This session will also provide the upcoming events for Disability Awareness Month.
MARCH 10, 2021 – 12:30-1:30 pm
Kristin Fleschner (Ivy Tech Community College)
MARCH 11, 2021 – 5:00-7:00 pm
77sistance as Resilience: Building Barricades of LGBTQ Mental Health with Sam Brinton
Description: This conversation will address the cultural challenges that LGBTQ young people face each day and how resilience has created an astounding generation of changemakers. We will review the best practices for caring for ourselves and those around us in the age of COVID and beyond. From the warning signs of suicide to stories about stilettos in the White House, this is gonna be a way for each of us to know how to save lives – including our own.
MARCH 15, 2021 – 5:00-6:30 pm
GaySL: A Crash Course in LGBTQ American Sign Language with Hayden Kristal
Description: This highly interactive, variable, and hilarious workshop teaches its participants LGBTQ-related American Sign Language signs while fostering a group discussion about Deaf culture, intersectionality, accessibility and more. During the presentation participants will be encouraged to sign along as we learn the signs for GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, QUEER, GENDER, ALLY, COMING-OUT, PARTNER, BINARY, DRAG KING/QUEEN, IDENTITY, RAINBOW, PRIDE, etc., as well as requested signs.
MARCH 17, 2021 – 5:30-6:30 pm
The Parallels of Unspoken rules in the Freelance world and Higher Education with Alexandra “Lexie” Signor, DM
Description: Many vocations come with a set of rules by which the person working the job are to abide. Many of these rules are claimed to be explicit, but many are implicit. For a person on the autism spectrum, the distinction it’s not so clear and success in their chosen field is that much more difficult for them. Ms. Signor We’ll talk about her experiences in the freelance world and in higher education regarding the discovery of the unwritten rules, and how she has learned to successfully navigate them even as a person with autism.”
MARCH 23, 2021 – 5:30-6:30 pm
Living with the Invisible with Melissa Grinslade, Staff Psychologist, ISU Student Counseling Center
MARCH 31, 2021 – 5:30-7:00 pm
#RepresentationMatters: Authentic Disability Cultural Representation
Panel Moderator: Amber OHaver, Executive Director, Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council (INSILC)
Description: This workshop will offer a panel of individuals with disabilities with intersecting marginalized identities engaging in interactive discussion providing context about how disability is typically portrayed and seen (as white, male and cisgender) and how this reinforces stereotypes and perpetuates the stigma surrounding the disabled body and the lived experience of individuals with disabilities with multiple, marginalized identities. We will examine how this portrayal fits into the general #RepresentationMatters movement and discuss the significance and need to increase the meaningful inclusion/participation of multiply marginalized individuals with disabilities in the media, in policy making, etc. and what that representation means to the disability community. To generate an even deeper level of understanding of #RepresentationMatters, the workshop panel will illustrate authentic inclusive concepts related to disability and will focus on the critical importance of sustaining and growing the trend of authentic disability representation by ensuring the inclusion of all types of disabilities, particularly as experienced by those who have multiple intersecting identities.
If you have questions, please contact Elonda Ervin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oyibo Afoaku, Indiana State University
Peter Ciancone, The WILL Center
Elonda Ervin, Indiana State University
Jamie Frey, Ivy Tech Community College
Molly Hare, Indiana State University
Marlene Lu, ARC of Indiana
Ian McNeil, Terre Haute South Vigo High School
Traci McNeil, Ivy Tech School of Nursing
Amber O’Haver, Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council (INSILC)
Breanna Pierce, Indiana State University
Martha Reed, Indiana State University