News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 4, 2009

Disability Awareness Month launched March 1


Gov. Mitch Daniels has proclaimed March as Disability Awareness Month in the state of Indiana.

Each March, thousands of Hoosiers come together to celebrate diversity for people with disabilities — which comprise more than 1 million people statewide — through a variety of community-based activities. The Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities conducts Disability Awareness Month to further its mission to advance independence, productivity, and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.

This year’s Disability Awareness Month theme is “Disable the Label.” The campaign poster captures a winning combination by portraying a diverse mix of Hoosiers, those with and without disabilities, intergenerational, and across ethnicities, working in a cooperative spirit to paint over negative labels on a graffiti-covered wall. All campaign materials are sponsored by Salin Bank, and one of Salin’s employees is featured in the poster.

Each year, the Council facilitates Disability Awareness Month by providing free resource materials to help Hoosiers plan activities in their local communities. Disability Awareness Month materials include information and activity-planning packets that assist individuals in planning everything from disability-focused art contests to increasing ADA awareness in a business. In addition, the Council offers theme-specific materials, including posters, bookmarks and stickers. In 2008, the campaign directly reached more than 30,000 people through grassroots efforts, special events and educational programming.

“It is our goal for each community across the state to embrace the diversity which can only add to the richness of our Hoosier heritage,” said Suellen Jackson-Boner, executive director of the Council. “People with disabilities contribute a great deal in making our communities a better place to live.”

To learn more about March Disability Awareness Month, visit indianadisabilityawareness.org.

For more information about the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, visit www.in.gov/gpcpd.