March is Disability Awareness Month

Creating equitable inclusive environments is a shared responsibility of everyone. In March, we take extra steps to raise awareness about people with disabilities and to celebrate their contributions to our community and society as a whole.

What is a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

Did you know?

More than one in four adults in the US lives with a disability. People with disabilities represent the nation’s largest minority group, as well as the only group that any of us can become a member of at any time.

Not all disabilities are the same, nor are they visible. A disability is or can be:

  • A condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • A mental health or physical condition
  • Visible or hidden

Leading causes of a disability:

  • Arthritis & Musculoskeletal
  • Diabetes
  • Depression and Mental Health Conditions
  • Back Pain
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease and Stroke

How can I be an ALLY for Disability Inclusion?

Join your City Council and community members in becoming a Disability ALLY and promoting inclusion for all:

  • Acknowledge and respect individual experience and abilities.
  • Learn about different disability types.
  • Leverage your influence to promote accessibility and inclusion.
  • Yield the floor to people with disabilities to help identify and eliminate barriers.

What else can I do?

  • Educate yourself
    • Check out the statistics in this infographic to learn more. 
    • Know not all disabilities are apparent and there are many disabilities. 
  • Actively listen and don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • Treat people with disabilities with respect. Avoid giving advice or saying "you're inspiring."
  • Avoid making assumptions about someone’s disability. Realize every disability is on a spectrum.
  • Don’t be afraid to intervene if you observe discriminatory behavior. Be an advocate. Support accessibility. 
  • Be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Be open to changing your behavior.
  • Ask before helping. Talk to a person with a disability like anyone else.