It is likely you know someone with a disability, or even have one yourself. There is a wide range of disabilities or disorders someone can have, including physical, mental, or intellectual. Millions of people in the United States have some type of disability. If you find yourself wanting to help this community or show your support, here are some great ways to be an advocate.
Join local programs to work with disabled individuals
Research some local programs that have been put into place for the disabled community. This could be anything from sporting teams, clubs, or a social gathering for people in similar situations to connect. You could help by joining, donating, or even sharing events on social media.
Volunteer at community events for people with disabilities
Volunteering is a rewarding experience and can be beneficial to disabled groups. For example, if your town or city holds events on behalf of the disabled community, you could offer volunteer services. This could include handing out flyers to promote the event, working at a table, or helping with any physical tasks that need to be done. Checking in on your local town or city’s website, community boards, or social media pages is a good way to stay up to date on the latest opportunities.
Spending more time with an individual you know personally
You more than likely know someone who has a disability or disorder- perhaps an acquaintance, friend, or even a family member. Spending time with someone who faces challenges we may be unfamiliar with can help them to socialize, interact with others, and feel included. Things such as going to the movies or out to dinner are small gestures that could mean the world to someone. If the person you know has a physical disability that causes limited mobility, even just lending an ear to listen makes a huge difference.
Join social media groups for disabled communities and supporters
This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get and stay connected. Finding a public group to follow helpful posts and even sharing some posts of your own can show support. Facebook often has groups that are open to anyone as well as Instagram.
Spend time researching disabilities and disorders
If you are curious about different types of disabilities, and disorders, and how they can affect someone, doing some research on your own is free and can help you to build a foundation of knowledge. It can also help you determine in more detail which types of disabilities you may want to advocate for or support. Research can be as simple as reading articles or books about various kinds of disabilities or even speaking directly with someone from the community who is open to discussing their situation.