Disability awareness event returns

ESCANABA — People in the area will be able to learn about living with disabilities by participating in a special event at the Delta Plaza Mall. Disable the Label, which is put on by the Delta County Regional Inclusive Community Coalition (RICC) and Friends of DATA, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Jodi Carlson, fundraising coordinator for Friends of DATA, said the event is meant to help show local residents how disabilities can impact people’s lives.

“It is a disability awareness event,” she said. Carlson and RICC Diversity Coordinator Brenda Crow organize Disable the Label each year.

At the heart of Disable the Label is a walk around the Delta Plaza Mall — with a twist.

“You can draw a disability, and you have to walk a mile around the mall,” Carlson said. Equipment participants will be given to simulate the effects of having various disabilities will include wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes, and blindfolds.

Along with the walk, vendors will be present to provide information on education, housing opportunities, social and recreational activities, employment, and transportation available for people with disabilities. Activities will be offered for children in attendance at Disable the Label, and Friends of DATA will hold a raffle during the event.

“We usually run a raffle … in conjunction with Disable the Label,” Carlson said.

Public reception to Disable the Label has been fairly positive, Carlson noted. About 250 people participated in last year’s event.

Carlson said she is glad Disable the Label has continued to be successful.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to learn what life is like for people with disabilities,” she said.