Governor Michael R. Pence, together with the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, has proclaimed the month of March as Disability Awareness Month.
While Disability Awareness Month continues to focus on inclusion for people with disabilities, the 2014 campaign theme, “Dream to Dare,” reminds us that if we want to have the communities of our dreams, we must work together to create communities that are sustainable, accessible, economically viable and encourage civic and social engagement for all.
For more than two decades, the Governor’s Council has spearheaded Disability Awareness Month through a unique statewide grassroots awareness campaign that includes creating theme-specific educational materials, distributed free of charge. Materials include posters, bookmarks, stickers and activity-planning packets that assist individuals in planning events in their own local communities.
This year’s campaign materials use poetic text to help frame our attitudes toward what we all want to achieve – a community that is healthy, safe and friendly for all.
People with disabilities, advocates, schools, businesses and faith-based and community organizations throughout Indiana have committed thousands of hours to conducting activities that promote and support the mission of Disability Awareness Month. The success of this campaign is entirely dependent on volunteers giving of themselves and their time.
“Creating sustainable and accessible communities across our state is of great importance – not just for people with disabilities, but for all Hoosiers. Our vision to create a more livable state can only be achieved through the collaboration of all Indiana residents – including those with disabilities,” said Suellen Jackson-Boner, executive director of the Governor’s Council. “By encouraging all citizens to develop relationships and work toward common goals, we can all play a part in creating more sustainable for citizens of all ages and ethnicities, with and without disabilities.”
In 2013, the campaign, “Community Connections,” directly reached almost 30,000 people through grassroots efforts, special events and educational programming. More than 5,000 people were involved in planning those activities.