May is Mobility Awareness Month! Mobility is the most common type of disability, affecting 1 in 7 people worldwide — and it becomes more common with age, affecting 2 in 5 people over 65.
This month is all about raising awareness for the importance of mobility, accessibility, and inclusion for people with disabilities.
The goal? A world where everyone — regardless of their mobility — can fully participate and thrive.
Let's talk accessible design
One of the biggest parts of being inclusive to those with mobility challenges or mobility aids is accessible design.
Accessible design ensures that the places we live, work, and play are inclusive to people with disabilities.
This goes beyond mere compliance regulations. It's about designing with real people in mind, considering their diverse needs, and providing spaces that include them from the start.
Now let's talk support
How can you help make our world more inclusive for people with mobility impairments?
Spread awareness. Share stories, articles, and social media posts that promote awareness about mobility challenges, accessible design, and the importance of inclusion. Starting conversations and educating others about the need for accessibility is the first step to creating change.
If you see something, say something. If you notice something in your community that should be accessible but isn't (from elevators that out of service, to buttons that don't work), tell someone who can help.
Don't touch someone's mobility device without asking first. For many, our mobility aids are an extension of our bodies. Think of touching someone's wheelchair, scooter, or crutches as the same thing as touching their back or arm.
Ask if someone needs help — and respect their answer. If you see someone struggling, it's okay to ask for help. But if they look like they're getting along just fine, chances are that they are. You can ask if they want a hand, but don't keep pushing if they decline.
Support local accessibility initiatives. Get involved in local accessibility initiatives and organizations. You can volunteer your time, offer support, or donate to causes that focus on enhancing mobility and accessibility in your community — from accessible parks and playgrounds, to helping make sure ramps aren't blocked.
Challenge stereotypes. There are so many misconceptions about mobility limitations. It's important to recognize and celebrate the achievements and abilities of people with disabilities — and sometimes, that means speaking out and correcting others when they say something that isn't correct.
Focus on representation. If you're a parent or a teacher, try to incorporate media that features people with different mobility needs and aids just living normal life. Books, pictures on worksheets, videos, and exposure to real people with mobility disabilities can make all the difference..