Sudbury – An event to educate attendees about “invisible” disabilities is among the events planned by the Disability Committee as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the topic.
During the virtual event on November 10, Valerie Fletcher, executive director of the Human Centered Design Institute, will discuss brain-based disabilities, ranging from Down syndrome to dementia to attention deficit disorder.
While these disabilities are often invisible, communities can design their environments or materials to be accessible to people with these types of disabilities, said Kay Bell, vice chair of the Disability Commission.
“We’re going to bring a workshop to the city that’s a bit more in-depth and interactive and goes a little deeper into what Sudbury can do to be more accessible to people with disabilities,” she said.
City social worker Beth Hadfab and Police Chief Scott Nix will join Fletcher for a panel discussion and have a discussion “bringing this extensive information about brain and design-based disabilities to the local level and shedding some light on the situation in Sudbury”.
Not all disabilities are obvious
Disability Committee Chair Pat Guthie said the committee will have an American sign language interpreter available.
The November 10 event will be broadcast live on www.sudburytv.org and will be broadcast on the public/government channel, Comcast 8/Verizon 31.
Bell said the committee will learn alongside the community, but she cited Purple Table Reservations as an example of how communities can be more accessible. People can contact a participating restaurant and request a “Purple Table Reservation” if they would like to be seated in a quieter, less exciting area of the restaurant.
“This is a good example of how a company can make it possible for a family, who has someone who is distracted or confused by a lot of turmoil, to go out and have fun,” Bell said.
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Gold, silver and bronze “the science of conquering”
It is part of a series of events the commission has planned to educate the public about disability, as well as celebrate Disability Awareness Month in October. As part of this work, the group took a handicap flag composed of gold, silver, and bronze and made brooches.
The flag was created by Eros Recio, a professional ballet dancer with Down syndrome from Spain, in 2017, according to the panel. When the science was given special recognition in Valencia, Recio asked that it be considered the science of overcoming because he felt the word “disability” could be socially separate.
The pins will be worn by public servants throughout the city. They will also be available for purchase at the Sudbury Historical Museum.
“I am very happy with the kind of response we are getting,” Bell said.
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The commission was inactive prior to its revival in recent years. Guthy said there are two opportunities on the board and encouraged people to consider joining.
“The amount of work people are doing on these projects is absolutely amazing,” she said. “It’s a very active committee, very cooperative, and we all share our life goal of making Sudbury a more inclusive place.”
Zain Razak writes about education. You can reach her at 508-626-3919 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.