Sticks & Stones May Break Your Bones, But WORDS Matter Too
There’s no doubt about it, some people think before speaking; their mind-to-mouth edit filter is in full functioning order, and some who suffer terribly from “open mouth, insert foot” syndrome. When this happens, it’s usually the listener who bears the brunt of the faux pas.
Since July is Disability Pride Month, we thought now would be a great time to look at how people communicate when talking about disabilities. Most people could use a refresher course in inclusionary language.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard. Life came to a screeching halt, and for almost two years everything we did, like how we work, our interactions, and even getting food and common household staples became challenges.
For the disability community, life became even harder and the world even narrower. Many with sensory conditions found themselves unable to wear masks and shop. People saw their services shuttered and their hard-won skill progression erode.
Megan came to Camp Merry Heart as a camper and had a fantastic time. So much so, that she couldn’t stay away. She came back as a volunteer because she wanted to help make sure other campers were able to experience camp the way she did. We ask her what makes her feel so strongly about the camp experience.
Welcome to PART 3 of our Business Side of Disability blog series. If you’ve missed PART 1 and PART 2, please give them a read, but it’s not necessary to understand this article. In those blogs, we discussed recruitment strategies and the benefits employees with disabilities bring to an organization. Now, we will be discussing how you can make your workplace more accessible by exploring technology and workplace accommodations.
As part of our continued celebration of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), this is PART 2 of our blog series showcasing the untapped workforce of job seekers with disabilities. In PART 1, we explored the overall value workers with disabilities can bring to your organization, but here we will be exploring how you can attract those employees to apply for open positions at your company.
Inclusive disability emojis are on their way! Everything from prosthetics to service dogs will be represented in these fun new icons. In recent history, emoji’s were released that allowed for representation of multiple skin tones, but there are still limited options available for persons with disabilities. This oversight will be corrected with an impressive variety of new images. The community of persons with disabilities is vast so it would be expected that this first wave of emojis would be limited in what populations they would represent. We have to say that this release exceeded these expectations and is deserving of praise and attention.
We are unsure when this will be released, but as soon as we find out, we’ll update this article. Wheelchair users, blind-low vision, deaf and hearing loss, and prosthetic users will find these icons incredibly useful as soon as the update is implemented. Mobile technology has been a boon to the community of people with disabilities, allowing for increased community connection and even being used as accessible technology (Be My Eyes, Text To Speech, etc.). Having the technology itself also feature communication tools that are representative of those using them, only makes sense and is a welcome change.
We’ve spoken before about the importance of representation for persons with disabilities and special needs in our media and these emojis are no different. Emojis are a staple of digital communication whether they are being used when texting or engaging on social media. Now imagine circling through the selection of emojis and seeing robots, aliens, and even the infamous “poop emoji,” yet you can’t find an emoji that represents you as a human being. What kind of message is that sending to the user? Not a very positive one. So these new icons will be a welcome addition to the roster.
Do you have any suggestions on how electronic communications could be made more accessible? Let us know in the comments below. And as always, if you’re seeking services, visit our main website.
Let’s face it, winter in New Jersey isn’t always a wonderland. This is true for every resident, including those who have disabilities or have a child with a disability or special need. Disability and winter weather don’t always mix.
Disability / Sensory Friendly Santa is Coming to Town!
We recently highlighted a story on DisabilityScoop.com about sensory friendly Santas holding events that are designed to be accessible for young persons and adults with disabilities. If you have ever attended a traditional gathering of jolly ole’ Saint Nick at your local mall or community center, you will remember the long lines, loud noises, and Santas that might not be exposed to the special needs population. This is usually NOT a sensory/communication friendly experience, but these Santas are looking to change all that.
It’s a line we hear all too often from hucksters, schemers, and con-men:
“You can go from rags to riches by buying my book and learning my money making secrets!”
They make promises of earning a six-figure salary in 6 months if you give them your money and listen to their advice. We of course know these are scams. But what if I told you I had a story about someone who enrolled in an Easterseals New Jersey program, spent $0 to do so, and ended up leaving the program with a $100,000 salary for a 40/hr. a week job – in under six months? Would you believe me? You should.