More Than Awareness
by: Andie Mosley
As an autistic person, “awareness” months always make me chuckle. Often interpreting things literally, I think, “people aren’t aware this exists?” Of course, I understand the actual purpose is to spread awareness of the struggles, needs, messages, etc., of whichever cause or group the month is celebrating. Bringing awareness leads to action, usually in volunteering time or donating money to reach a specific goal, for example, cancer research. However, during this Disability Awareness Month, I would like to propose a new challenge for the celebration.
Last year in April, known as Autism Awareness Month, autistic self-advocates made the change to celebrate “autism acceptance” rather than awareness. I’m not suggesting copying that specific idea, but I like the thought of shifting the message to something more direct. Rather than just being aware of the challenges faced by people with disabilities in our communities, think about what you can do to become an ally. Donating to organizations that serve individuals with disabilities or volunteering your time to these organizations is indeed important. Still, there are things we can do in our everyday lives that are as easy as simple changes in mindset.