Disability Awareness Players Build Diversity and Inclusion
When we started training companies and organizations to welcome customers and employees with disabilities through disability awareness, we didn’t realize that the Players were helping to plant the seed for something equally important: including people with disabilities in volunteerism and civic engagement!
Here are a few cool stories about how the Players are growing diversity and inclusion in the community:
A Geography Buff Lands at Morton Arboretum – This summer, Brian Rohde is volunteering at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, for the Plant Monitoring Project. Brian is responsible for identifying and recording plant species and collecting information about which bloom stages each plant is in, such as budding or full bloom. He will also monitor blooming flowers in a garden near the Arboretum’s visitor center, as well as look for diversity throughout the garden. He found out about the volunteer opportunity when he helped train staff at a Disability Awareness Training in March.
A Disability Advocate Helps the Chicago History Museum- Another Player, Bill Sitter, has been invited by Chicago History Museum, which we trained in April, to serve on the Museum’s Access Advisory Council. This is a role that will help the Museum become more accessible and accommodating for people with disabilities. Some other responsibilities of an Access Advisor are to connect the museum with the disability community, to help plan strategies for disability inclusion, and to share experiences, suggestions, and updates on the museum’s accessibility at Chicago History Museum events.
A Film Enthusiast Volunteers with Kartemquin Films- Abbie Volkmann, who is also a Disability Awareness Player, is volunteering with the ReelAbilities Film Festival in Chicago, which partners with Kartemquin Films to promote disability awareness. Abbie is a film buff, and is helping a panel of filmmakers and people interested in disability inclusion select films to be screened at the festival, as well as planning for the festival. She will continue to help with the festival as needed once it begins in October. We trained a group of Chicago documentary filmmakers back in February.
Are you volunteering in your community? Are you playing a role on a committee or organization’s board? Share your story of planting a seed!