By: Johnna Headley, Reporter
Along with Breast Cancer Awareness, the month of October is also dedicated to Disability Awareness Month. Director of Disability Support Services Jo Ann Nunnelly shared some insight on Disability Awareness Month and why it should be recognized by everyone.
Nunnelly said: “Disability Awareness month is important because we all know somebody with a disability. Disability is a natural part of life and isn’t something we should be shunning or avoiding because the reality is that if you are not diagnosed with a disability today, you could quite possibly have one tomorrow or later in your life.”
An important statistic to know about people with disabilities is that 90 percent of disabilities are invisible. Nunnelly added: “Don’t make the assumption that because somebody does something differently than you means you need to make comments that are inappropriate because they may have an invisible disability. You aren’t going to know someone has a disability by just looking at them.”
She added: “Nowadays it seems like everyone has a month for whatever the cause is. I think the reason Disability Awareness Month is so important to me is because it gives us the opportunity to say to everyone here at TWU, that they are interacting with other people with disabilities on a daily basis. Sadly, there is a stigma placed on people with disabilities on whether or not they should be talked about and they are hesitant to self identify.”
The National Center for Education states that 11 to 12 percent of any college population consists of individuals who have a disability – at TWU, that number would come out to about 1700 students. With the awareness of disability, people can be educated on issues, help create acceptance and get rid of the stigma attached to many people with disabilities.