Bloomington Recognizes April as Accessibility Awareness Month

It’s estimated that nearly 1 in 5 Americans (or 43 million individuals nationwide) have some form of disability.  The City of Bloomington in Indiana is on a mission to spread accessibility and disability awareness.  During the entire month of April, the City of Bloomington’s Council for Community Accessibility (CCA) celebrates Accessibility Awareness Month.  Throughout the month, there will be several activities to educate the community and advocate for accessibility issues.

accessibility awareness

Bloomington’s Council for Community Accessibility is comprised of volunteers who advocate for persons with disabilities.  The group was originally formed in 1990 with a “simple” mission: to promote awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities.  The organization’s mission is obtained through seven objectives listed below from the government website.

7 CCA Objectives:

  1. Assessment: To seek information about the needs and available services for persons with disabilities.
  2. Awareness: To educate all segments of the community.
  3. Accessibility: To promote access to places of public accommodation, housing, programs, and services.
  4. Affinity: To develop coalitions with groups that share similar interests.
  5. Advocacy: To promote the best interests of persons with disabilities by supporting specific, identified issues.
  6. Advice: To serve as a resource to the community.
  7. Action: To actively work to accomplish the objectives of the organization.

To learn more on Bloomington’s Council for Community Accessibility, click here.

As stated previously, Bloomington recognizes April as Accessibility Awareness Month.  During April, the CCA will join other organizations throughout the Bloomington community to host activities related to accessibility including: fairs, film showings, trainings, walks, and a symposium.

Accessibility Awareness Month:
Calendar of Events

April 1st – April 30th:  CCA Accessibility Display

The City of Bloomington’s CCA will have an accessibility display during the entire month of April.  This display is located in the atrium display window of the first floor of City Hall.  Free materials for the public are also available.  For more information, contact Lucy Schaich at cca@bloomington.in.gov.

April 10th:  Bloomington AIDS Walk

The 12th annual Bloomington AIDS Walk will take place this Friday, April 10th.  It will begin with a family festival from 5:00pm-7:30pm, followed by the walk at 7:30 p.m.  All funds raised will provide “nutritional supplements, transportation, and case management services so that patients can be linked to medical care and housing.”  To learn more, visit their website: www.btownaidswalk.org.

April 14th:  “Way to Go” Travel Training

Bloomington Transit hosts free travel training sessions for individuals and groups every month.  The purpose is to teach persons of all abilities to navigate the City’s bus system.  This session will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14th.  Additional classes can be arranged.  Interested persons or groups must RSVP.  For more information and to RSVP, contact Eli McCormick, Customer Service Manager, at mccormick@bloomingtontransit.com or 812-336-7433.

April 19th:  Homeward Bound Walk

The Bloomington Homeward Bound Walk will be hosted at the Waldron, Hill, & Buskirk Park (formerly known as 3rd Street Park, behind the Bloomington police station).  Festivities will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Registration begins at noon with the walk beginning at 1 p.m.  Entertainment, live music, food, and fun activities will fill the park throughout the entire event.  For more information, contact Jeanice Chastain at homewardboundbloomington@gmail.com or 812-345-8622.

April 21st:  ADA Audio Conference

The ADA Audio Conference will be a 90-minute session covering an issue related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  (Topic and speaker are yet to be determined).  The conference is free and will be held at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, building L from 2 to 3:30 p.m.  For more information, contact Matt Norris at adainfo@indiana.edu or 812-855-6508.

April 23rd:  “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia”

Pinnacle School and Learning Services is hosting a screening of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” at the Monroe County Public Library at 5:30 p.m. followed by a discussion at 6:30 p.m.  Directed by James Redford, the film “provides personal and uplifting accounts of the dyslexic experience from children, experts, and iconic leaders…the film not only clears up the misconceptions about the condition, but also paints a picture of hope for all who struggle with it.  Shining a spotlight on the latest scientific and psychological research…illustrates that while the condition is an obstacle, it also carries some unique advantages, and ultimately can be overcome.”  For more information about this event, Pinnacle School, or dyslexia services, contact Taylor Wittmer eat twittmer@pinnacleschool.org or 812-339-8141.

April 27th:  City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility

The monthly meeting of the City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility (CCA) will be held on Monday, April 27th from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in the McCloskey Conference Room #135.  The meeting is open to anyone interested in making Bloomington more accessible.  For more information, contact Lucy Schaich at cca@bloomington.in.gov.

April 29th:  Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization–Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting

Interested citizens are invited to be an integral part of the local transportation planning process. The goal of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is to foster and develop citizen awareness of transportation policy and planning. At their monthly meetings, the CAC reviews transportation projects and policies, and makes recommendations to the Policy Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization. This month’s meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29th in the McCloskey Room, Suite 135 at City Hall, 401 N. Morton Street. To participate, or for more information, contact Anna Dragovich at dragovia@bloomington.in.gov or call 812-349- 3423. You may also visit their website: http://bloomington.in.gov/mpo.

April 30th:   City of Bloomington Autism Awareness Event

The third annual Autism Awareness Event will take place at City Hall from 5-7 p.m.  The focus will be on employment, with this year’s theme of “Autism at Work.”  The event is free and open to the public.  Multiple panelists will discuss challenges autism brings to the work world, best practices for employers, and benefits of hiring employees with autism.  Additionally, discussion will focus on job social skills and the services and support Vocational Rehabilitation can offer.  Light refreshments will be served following the program.  For more information, contact Nancy Woolery at wooleryn@bloomington.in.gov or 812-349-3851.

April 30th-May 1st: Design for a Small (Aging) Planet Symposium

A two-day public symposium on new thinking about the design of environments for a lifetime, “from Closet to Community,” will be held at IU’s Indiana Memorial Union on Thursday, April 30th from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday, May 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community’s Center on Aging and Community, is designed for professionals of all kinds and interested members of the public, and will present cutting edge thinking about ways design in the built and natural environment can enhance health, social life, and individual and community wellbeing in later life. Speakers will include prominent local, state, and national architects and designers focusing on such topics as the evolution of senior housing, new housing options, community design, intergenerational environments, and design for dementia. For more information about the symposium, cost, and registration, visit www.iidc.indiana.edu/cacdesign or contact Dr. Phil Stafford at staffor@indiana.edu or 812-855- 6508.