As our community continues to educate itself about Diversity & Inclusion, we want to be sure that inclusion includes ALL.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and we want to use this time to share with our community what true inclusion looks like for those with Down Syndrome, as well as others who may have physical or intellectual disabilities. We want to Paint the Town with Kindness and make it more accessible for ALL.
What is accessibility?
Accessibility is when the needs of all are considered. Businesses, parks, products & services are built or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities.
Here are a few examples of accessibility:
- Parking spaces are close to entrances
- Floor spaces and hallways are free of equipment and other barriers
- Staff and healthcare professionals can use sign language or have access to someone who can use sign language
How can I make my space more accessible to all?
Wherever you are, stop and look around… is this space accessible to ALL? How can you make a change so that it is more accessible?
Learn how to be more accessible – https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/disability-strategies.html
How can I get involved with DSL’s Paint the Town with Kindness Movement?
Help us to share the gift of access by Painting the Town with Kindness this October. Order your Window Painting Kit (add link here) that includes this window decal to proudly display at your home or business. Use the paint to decorate around decal to show your support. Be sure to take a photo and post to social media with the hashtag #paintthetownkind
What else can I do to be Kind?
Use First Person Language
Disability is part of the human experience, but sometimes people use words or phrases that are insensitive and do not promote understanding, dignity, and respect for people with disabilities. More often than not, this is not intentional but can be hurtful just the same. Learn how to communicate with and about people with disabilities using people-first language and other helpful tips.
|Tips||Use||Do not use|
|Emphasize abilities, not limitations||Person who uses a wheelchair||Confined or restricted to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound|
|Person who uses a device to speak||Can’t talk, mute|
|Do not use language that suggests the lack of something||Person with a disability||Disabled, handicapped|
|Person of short stature||Midget|
|Person with Down syndrome||Downs Kid, or Down Syndrome person|
|Person with epilepsy or seizure disorder||Epileptic|
|Person with multiple sclerosis||Afflicted by multiple sclerosis|
|Emphasize the need for accessibility, not the disability||Accessible parking or bathroom||Handicapped parking or bathroom|
|Do not use offensive language||Person with a physical disability||Crippled, lame, deformed, invalid, spastic|
|Person with an intellectual, cognitive, developmental disability||Slow, simple, moronic, defective, afflicted, special person|
|Person with and emotional or behavioral disability, a mental health impairment, or a psychiatric disability||Insane, crazy, psycho, maniac, nuts|
|Avoid language that implies negative stereotypes||Person without a disability||Normal person, healthy person|
|Do not portray people with disabilities as inspirational only because of their disability||Person who is successful, productive||Has overcome his/her disability, is courageous|
Learn more about Down Syndrome of Louisville and its over 50 programs and services in the community at dsoflou.org