Individuals who live with disabilities or developmental delays are usually perceived and labeled negatively by the media. Examples of negative labels include “wheelchair bound,” “retarded,” “handicapped,” and “crippled”. These perceptions can affect others’ attitudes of what such persons are capable of, and it also affects how limited opportunities in employment, education, and recreational activities are to persons with disabilities. This workshop will examine the public and media's attitude of ableism and how it is negatively impacting efforts to establish and maintain inclusive environments, as well as what can be done about it.
Jessica James, a senior criminal justice major at The College at Brockport, continues to educate her peers on the importance of disability awareness. She reminds the community that individuals with disabilities are people first, and that it is important that they are treated as such. Ms. James is in her fourth consecutive year as a volunteer for the Camp Smile Games for the Physically Challenged.