Every month, week, and day of the year is set aside for some special recognition. Whether it is inane, silly, serious, or accomplishment they are there. There are those who do their best to celebrate each and every one of them. From Waffles, beer, beef & seafood, Cheeseburgers, and innumerable others.
But October is sort of special to me for several reasons. I wanted to fill you in on some of the national and state days, especially in Arizona, being celebrated and recognized and why I, and millions of others, believe in them:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I have never personally lost anyone to breast cancer. However, I have lost most of my mother’s side of the family to it. My grandmother had all but 1 of her 9 sibling’s die of it, including herself. My mom has had 2 forms of it and my uncle consistently has polyps removed from his colon. I also lost a very close friend to it 37 years ago, 1 week before her 19th birthday.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Unfortunately, I know several women who have been the victim of this, including my mother more than 50 years ago. But that was back when you didn’t talk about such things or report it to the police. I also had a couple living across the street from me in the 60s who argued and hit each other like a heavyweight fight between Ali and Frazier. They also had the cuts, bruises, broken windows, and arrests to prove it, nearly every Friday or Saturday night.
Disability Employment Awareness Month
More than 70 years ago, the Department of Labor started this commemoration to recognize and encourage employers to look at hiring those of us that are disabled. It was their way, and should be everyone’s albeit in a different context, to showcase those of us that are disabled who wish to work and contribute to society.
Remember this little fact: We can do everything you can do at work and home, including, with a little assistance at times, programming computers, and plumbing, electrical, training, sales, and such expertise. We may have to bend rules, which aren’t as bad as you have been programmed to think, sometimes to get it done, but it does get done…correctly.
Blind & disabled Awareness Month
I have been the object of contempt walking through an area with a large crowd, which is never my favorite thing to do sighted or blind. Nearly everyone profiles those of us that are disabled. We all have our prejudices against disabled people, but you do have to remember that it also makes us individuals. When you encounter someone who is disabled think of that little line above in NDEA month “We can do everything you can do just in a different way”.
White Cane Awareness month
When someone walks in a public area such as a sidewalk or shopping mall with a white cane, what do you think the white cane is for? You may be surprised at the number of people who have absolutely no clue. Younger children I can understand the mystery, their parents have never taught them any different because they may catch the blindness disease and end up like us, not logical but…what can you do?
Meet the Blind Month
This is designed for the general public who has never had much interaction with those of us that are blind before. You are encouraged to seek out someone who is blind or a blind center such as the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to actually see how we live our lives as well as you do, just without workable sight.
Daily living, getting around, interacting with others, and various other activities. You may be surprised at us. Hopefully, it will dispel some myths about blindness and those of us that live with it daily.
I don’t want to take up much more of your time with many of the great days, weeks, and month being celebrated in October so I’ll try to keep these last ones shorter:
National Reading Group Month – Reading groups aren’t just for younger kids in school. Start your own reading group no matter your age.
National Book Month – There are ways for everyone to enjoy books. From book readers for the disabled to the old fashioned way of actually holding a paper product in your hands and falling asleep with it.
Great Books Week- First full week in October – What is your great book? Dig it out of the library, box, book shelf, or find a new one to peruse. Literacy, and the amount of freedom we have, is directly based on how much we read.
National Book Day- October 1
World Teachers Day- October 5 – Celebrate the people who helped you achieve what you have now. The teachers from elementary to college have had an influence even if you didn’t like them.
American Libraries Day-October 6
Dictionary Day/Noah Webster’s Birthday– October 6
Halloween! – October 31 – Sugar addicts, like me, rejoice!
Robert D. Sollars, who has been blind since 2003, assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of workplace violence as well as other security/customer service related issues with time tested and proven ideas. You can follow him on his Facebook page, facebook.com/oneistooomany, or twitter@robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear