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October 03, 2007

October is Disability Awareness Month

WHO: The Gavilan College Disability Resource Center

WHAT: Invites Gavilan College students, staff and community of all ability levels to learn more about people with disabilities and the resources available to people with disabilities. October has been designated as "Disability Awareness Month" and the staff of the DRC has planned a number of activities, including a meeting of service providers, a display of "Did you Know" facts, Movie Days highlighting characters with a variety of disabilities followed by discussion. and an interactive experience (prior years included opportunities to navigate the admissions area in a wheelchair, read and write backwards using mirrors, and other activities designed to help people understand the experience of those with disabilities.)

October 12 : Interdistrict Transition Team: the network of community agencies serving people with disabilities will meet at Gavilan College and tour the Disability Resource Center 10 a.m.- noon in the Disability Resource Center

October 16-18: Display of "Did You Know" facts in the Gavilan College Student Center, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy

October 23 -24: Movie Days. 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon - 2 p.m. in the Student Center (free and open to the public)

October 30: Interactive activity, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m in the Student Center.


Almost everyone will develop physical or other disabilities at some point in their lives. We are all "temporarily abled". Many disabilities, including learning disabilities, diabetes, and psychological disabilities, are invisible.

Depending on how disability is defined, between 15 and 20 percent of US citizens have some limitation due to a disability -- from 38 to 52 million people. More than 7 million of us use devices to compensate for mobility impairments: 4.8 million use canes, 1.8 million use walkers, 1.6 million use wheelchairs, 1.7 million use back braces. Among working people, in 1995, people with disabilities earned on average only 72 cents for every dollar earned by non-disabled people.

People with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be assaulted, robbed, or sexually attacked than people who are not disabled. One recent study found that more than 70 percent of women with developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, which represents a 50 percent higher rate than the rest of the population.

Why Celebrate Disabilities Awareness Month?

* To learn about an important group that is struggling for full inclusion in US society.
* To understand why laws were created to protect people with disabilities, and how they work.
* To appreciate the great and small contributions people with disabilities make to our society.
* To help improve attitudes and eliminate stereotypes that hold back people with disabilities.
* To learn to separate people from their disabilities, so accomplishments are recognized without an inappropriate focus on disability.
* To recognize that we are all just a heartbeat away from becoming disabled through illness or accidents.
What Can I Do?

* Learn about different disabilities and how they affect people differently: read, ask questions, and respect differences.
* Support the efforts of people with disabilities to lead full lives, work at rewarding jobs, and participate in all aspects of life.
* Correct and challenge stereotypes and slurs in media, advertising, and everyday conversation.
* Support local groups working for diverse multicultural institutions.
* Volunteer in college classes as a note taker, tutor, or reader for a student with a disability.

The Gavilan College Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides students with disabilities quality and excellence in programs, services and support which enhance the quality of community life, and the development of individual potential for a global environment. The DRC strives to equalize student educational opportunities and to support as well as educate the faculty, staff, and the community.
For more information about Disabilities Awareness Month, or the Gavilan College Disability Resource Center, call (408) 848-4865, or visit


Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800