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Turnstone Celebrates Disability Awareness Month with Release of “First, People” Video

March 23rd, 2021

FORT WAYNE, IN (March 23, 2021) – Throughout the month of March, Turnstone has joined Hoosiers across the state in celebrating Disability Awareness Month. Turnstone recognized the month with a campaign titled, “First, People” which led up to the release of a featured video. The video will serve as a resource for the community that shares how easily our words and actions can show respect for people with disabilities.

 

The video features local community members introducing and explaining 11 practical tips that relate to their experiences living with a disability. The tips are intended to diffuse feelings of hesitation and uncertainty that some may feel when they meet someone with a disability. Encouraging communication and mutual respect will help create more cohesion and inclusion amongst community members.

 

By creating this video, Turnstone hopes to reach more people in an effort to underscore the value people with disabilities bring to our communities and employers.

“Disability Awareness Month gives us the chance to bring to the forefront the conversation about the strength we can all share through embracing diversity, including disability,” said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO. “Encouraging conversation and creating relationships lead to inclusion, which we believe supports a healthy and vibrant community.”

 

One of the featured tips is shared by Eliana Mason, a member of the United States National Women’s Goalball team. Eliana’s tip is: “When you meet someone who is blind or visually impaired, always identify yourself and the others who may be with you. Face me, speak to me, and be specific with your directions.”

 

Mason believes projects such as this are a step towards creating more inclusive communities.

 

“Usually when someone has a disability, they’re asked to step into the able-bodied world, but people who are fully able-bodied don’t usually step into the disability world, so we need to have more [of these] awareness opportunities,” said Mason.

 

The video will be available on Turnstone’s website and YouTube channel to support outreach efforts that include school presentations throughout the region and disability awareness training for local businesses and medical staff.

 

Turnstone hopes to convey that the first step in creating more diverse communities is to listen to people’s stories and take part in conversations. Throughout March, profiles of Turnstone-affiliated community members, Deborah, Clif, Eliana, Maggie, Cole, K.C., and Tyler were shared on Turnstone’s website. These profiles highlight the importance of inclusive community and what each person learned after a year of isolation and quarantine.

 

For more information about disability awareness training provided by Turnstone, contact Tina Acosta, Director of Outreach and certified ADA coordinator, tina@turnstone.org or (260)969-7630.

 

This video was made possible thanks to funding from the Olive B. Cole Foundation, and was inspired by the “Disable Disrespect” brochure from the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

 

The “First, People” video is available on Turnstone’s website, www.turnstone.org/firstpeople, and on Turnstone’s YouTube channel at this link: https://youtu.be/3yo_ZOzqNwc. For more information about “First, People” can also be found on Turnstone’s social media profiles on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.


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