March is Disability Awareness Month

March provides an opportunity to bring more awareness to the disabilities that exist within our community. Often, when someone hears the word ‘disability’ they think of what we can see, such as someone who uses a wheelchair, but the spectrum of disabilities includes so much more. Some of these are seen, but many are not visible to the general public. 

We encourage you to take time to learn about just a few of the disabilities that we know affect our members. Think about how you can help ensure individuals with any disability always feel welcome and included within our doors. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can affect a person’s ability to attend and fully comprehend what is occurring around them. 

Arthritis – “Arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. This can affect a member’s ability to move in a variety of ways from jumping to maintaining a tabletop position. 

Asthma – Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs making breathing more difficult during exercise. 

Deafness and Hearing Loss – Individuals who are deaf or affected by hearing loss may utilize other means of communication to fully interpret what a teacher/coach is sharing throughout classes. 

Depression – Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. 

Diabetes – Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Diabetes can affect what an individual can consume and may cause challenges relating to regulating blood sugar throughout the day. 

Dyslexia – Dyslexia is a type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. 

Eating Disorders – Individuals who have a preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may be affected by an eating disorder. This may lead to wanting to exercise more frequently than others or consuming less food than is recommended.

Heart Disease – Heart disease is a catch-all phrase for a variety of conditions that affect the heart’s structure and function. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. 

Speech or Language Impairment – A speech disorder is a condition in which a person has problems creating or forming the speech sounds needed to communicate with others. This can make the person’s speech difficult to understand and may lead to them being less likely to want to communicate with others.