Disability History and Awareness Month

Girl Scout Troop 600 Seniors from Gordon Street Christian Church recently met with Mayor B. J. Murphy to help draft a proclamation designating October as ‘Disability History and Awareness Month’ in Kinston. Front from left are Molly Riddick, Emily Benson, Murphy, Erin Stewart and Alissa Lovick. Back from left are Kitty Hobbs-Proctor from RHA Howell corporate office; Elizabeth Proctor; Judy Ellis from RADD, and Linda Gervasi from Vocational Rehabilitation. Others participating were Christina Lovick, troop co-leader; Alyssa Bayless; and Ashley Scarborough.
Girl Scout Troop 600 Seniors from Gordon Street Christian Church and Mayor B.J. Murphy have proclaimed October as “Disability History and Awareness Month” in Kinston. The troop has scheduled an event to help raise public awareness.

The 2011 Disabilities Awareness Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at Vernon Park Mall. RHA Howell’s corporate office is the sponsor.

The event will provide the community an opportunity to find out what companies are available in the area that offer services for people with a range of disabilities.

In 2010, Elizabeth Proctor, a member of the troop and the daughter of Kitty Hobbs-Proctor, co-leader and RHA Howell’s Corporate Director of Regulatory Compliance and former RADD board member, presented the idea to her troop as a community service project. The outcome was the first Disabilities Awareness Fair. Its success led the troop to volunteer to help again this year.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, referred to as the ADA, was signed by President George Bush on July 26, 1990. Although this happened 20 years ago, many people do not know a lot about the Act.

The Youth-led movement for equal education on disabilities history celebrated its first victory in West Virginia in April 2006. Other states are following suit.

The North Carolina Youth Leadership Network successfully advocated for the month of October to be devoted to “Disability History and Awareness.” In March 2007, proposed legislation was filed in the N.C. House and Senate. There was significant public support to pass the bill, which was signed by the Governor in July 2007.

The troop invites the public to attend Thursday’s event to see what services Lenoir and surrounding counties have to offer to people with disabilities and to educate your family about people with disabilities. There are nearly 40 million people with disabilities in America.

If your company offers programs or services to people with disabilities, sign up for a booth, free of charge, to share your services.

For more information, or to sign up for a booth, email girlscouttroop600seniors@yahoo.com, or call RHA Howell at 252-566-9011, ext. 1808, or RADD at 252-522-2814.