What is disability awareness? What is disability awareness? When asking the question: what is disability awareness? It’s all too easy to take the short road so consider the official definition from Disabled World, which states: “Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge required to carry out a job or task thus separating good practice from poor.” Whilst this is fundamental to the progression of society’s understanding and acceptance of disability, this does only cover the basics; the bare bones, if you will. For so many of us living with disability or supporting people who live with disability, the concept of disability awareness is so much more than teaching ‘good practice’. Disability awareness is: Recognising diversity Not all disabilities are the same, and disability awareness recognises this; celebrating difference and identifying the beauty within our uniqueness. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place! Promoting acceptance and respect Although we are living in the progressive and enlightened 21st Century, individual attitudes don’t always reflect this, with some seemingly stuck in the past. Whilst attitudes towards disabled people have come a long way, particularly in recent years, there’s still room for improvement, and raising more awareness for disability promotes respect and recognition; the more we understand disability, the greater society’s acceptance of it. Increasing employment opportunities It wasn’t until as recently as 1995 that people living with disabilities were given some form of legal protection against state and business discrimination; before this, disabled people had very little rights, and employers were free to refuse people work on the grounds of just being disabled. As society’s awareness of disability has increased & improved, so too have employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and our readiness to adapt working environments to suit individual needs. Providing a voice With awareness comes visibility and transparency, and with visibility and transparency comes the chance to share our thoughts and opinions around disability; standing up for what we feel is right, whilst creating even more opportunities for disabled people. Yes, disability awareness is more than simply good practice; it’s paving the way for equal and increased opportunities for disabled people in the home, in the workplace, and within social situations; it’s respect, it’s celebrating difference, and it’s standing up for what you believe in. For us here at Enham Trust, disability awareness is a key part of everything we do; never afraid to be a national voice on disability, to personalise and tailor our services around the individual need of each of our disabled customers, and work with employers to create workplace opportunities for those who use our services. If you liked this blog, please leave us a comment below. You can also share this blog with your family and friends using the share buttons for email, Facebook and Twitter.