Disability Events: February 2016
February can be a bleak month for many people, especially when the weather is cold and spring seems far away. For people with disabilities, the month may seem to stretch out endlessly with very little to do. However, February 2016 will also give people the opportunity to participate in a variety of events related to disabilities. Whether or not you have a disability, it could be very good for you to get involved.
Knowledge and information are essential parts of dealing with disabilities. For people who have severe vision problems, for example, finding out where to get Braille books or guide dogs might be very helpful. White Cane week from February 1st to 7th is a series of events sponsored by the Canadian Council for the Blind, giving information and support for people, as well as sports competitions, special dinners, and other events. Most provinces and one territory in Canada are holding events to celebrate the week.
If you live anywhere near Toronto, the Rethinking Disabilities Conference might be a good event to attend or to encourage your parents or teachers to consider. The one-day conference on February 11th is especially good for employers, since the focus of the talks will be on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Finding work can be difficult enough for people without any obvious disability, but it can be especially hard for people who are unable to complete certain tasks. A conference like this one might help you or the people around you to understand the challenges a little better than before.
Sports fans probably know all about the idea behind a hall of fame which celebrates people’s achievements in areas like baseball or hockey. This year, a different kind of hall of fame in Toronto will be twenty-two years old. The Disability Hall of Fame opened on February 11th, 1994 to help celebrate the achievements of people with physical disabilities, and the exhibits are still open to the public. A visit to this museum on its anniversary could be inspiring for many visitors.
If you have the chance to watch television at the end of February, you might want to check for the beginning of Special Olympics Canada events. Although the games will not start until March 1st, the days before that will likely have information about the athletes and their competitions. The games will take place in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Autism Sunday is another event that you might want to recognize. The second Sunday in February has been an official observance since 2002, when a group of people in the United Kingdom encouraged others in the community to take a day to take action for people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Since many churches now take part in the observance, it is also called the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. “Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.”
Disability News Canada. “Conferences and Events.” http://disabilitynewscanada.com/conferences__events.
Health Canada. “Calendar of Health Promotion Days.”
Special Olympics Canada. “Special Olympics Canada chooses Corner Brook, Newfoundland to host the 2016 Winter Games.” http://www.specialolympics.ca/highlight/special-olympics-canada-chooses-corner-brook-newfoundland-to-host-the-2016-winter-games/.
Wikipedia.org. “Autism Sunday.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_Sunday.
Ontario Disability Employment Network. “Rethinking Disabilities Conference (Toronto, ON).” http://odenetwork.com/events/rethinking-disabilities/