What to Know About Mobility Awareness Month
May is mobility awareness month. It's a time to bring attention to the millions of Americans who live with mobility limitations, the challenges they face, and how we can all come together to help create a more accommodating and equitable society for all.
But not to worry if you've never heard of it, that's what we're here for. As we gear up for this disability awareness month, join us in looking at some key factors we can educate ourselves on and ways to help make a positive impact this May.
How Many Americans Deal With a Mobility Disability?
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adult Americans lives with a disability. And of those, mobility disabilities are the most common, affecting 1 in 7 adults.
It's a testament to the importance of efforts like mobility awareness month. That so many live with disabilities and still struggle to have their basic personhood respected, speaks to the enormity of the work ahead.
What Challenges Do Disabled Americans Face?
A major challenge is the perception that disabled Americans are sufficiently supported. That the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed more than 30 years ago. After that, the playing field was leveled.
It's a comforting thought for individuals affected by disabilities, but one that's far from the truth. The 2020 COVID pandemic helped illustrate a part of the issue in ways we could all appreciate.
The enforced distancing the pandemic caused was a difficult transition for most. But for many disabled people, social isolation was already a fact of life, as numerous communities lack the accommodations and transportation services disabled people need to participate in their communities.
Beyond that, disabled people often still job insecurity and economic difficulty, despite the discrimination protections afforded by the ADA.
What Can We Do to Help for Mobility Awareness Month?
As the name implies, the purpose of mobility awareness month is to draw attention to the lives and disabled people. Above all else, you want to make sure that in any discussion it's disabled voices that are being centered. So helping to promote the stories of disabled people is a great way to get involved.
There are also numerous organizations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association that do great work to help improve disabled people's quality of life. Supporting them materially can be a great way to contribute.
Remaining Aware All Year-Round
May only marks 31 days out of the calendar. It's important for us all to remember our disabled neighbors the remaining 334 days of the year.
So even more important than preparing for this mobility awareness month is to take its spirit to heart and practice good allyship on a day-to-day basis.
May will also mark the winding down of the school year. As we look towards the summer, parents have an opportunity to help teach their children to be good allies themselves. Particularly as more children will be returning to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year.
So in the spirit of mobility awareness, a good way to start is for parents to check out our guide. It teaches children ways to be inclusive of their disabled peers.