What is so special about October?
Every month, week, and day of the year is set aside for some special recognition. Whether it is inane, silly, serious, or accomplishment they are there. And there are those people who do their best to celebrate them. From National Waffle Day to Ice Cream, Cheeseburgers (I like mine with lettuce & tomato, French fried potatoes, Heinz 57…), and many others.
But October is sort of special to me for several reasons. I wanted to fill you in on some of the national and state days being celebrated and recognized and why I and millions believe in them as well:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I have never personally lost anyone to breast cancer. I have, on the other hand, lost most of my mother’s side of the family to cancer of one form or another. My grandmother had all but 1 of her 9 sibling’s die of it, including herself in 1977. My mom has had 2 forms of it and my uncle consistently has polyps in his colon. Additionally, I lost a very good female friend to it more than 36 years ago, 1 week before her 19th birthday. So this awareness is special to me.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
I know several women who have been the victim of this, including my mother more than 50 years ago. But that was back when you didn’t talk about such things or report it to the police. I also had a couple living across the street from me in the 60s who argued and hit each other like a heavyweight fight between Ali and Frazier. They also had the cuts, bruises, broken windows, and arrests to prove it, nearly every Friday or Saturday night.
Disability Employment Awareness Month
This day was started by the Department of Labor more than 7 decades ago to recognize and encourage employers to look at hiring those of us that are disabled. It is their way, and should be everyone’s, to showcase those of us that are disabled in attempting to assist us gain employment.
Just remember this little factoid: We can do everything that you can do at work and home. We just can’t do it as quickly as you do. That even includes programming computers and such technical expertise (no not this technological illiterate). We may have to bend rules out of shape sometimes to get it done, but it does get done.
Blind & disabled Awareness Month
How do you profile the disabled when you encounter them? I have been the object of ridicule and scorn going through the airport or out shopping. Everyone profiles those of us that are blind and/or disabled. We all have our prejudices against disabled people. That shows that we are all individuals.
But you do have to remember that it also makes us individuals as well. You noticed us, albeit in a negative light, and that’s not altogether a bad thing. When you encounter someone who is disabled think of that little line above in NDEA month “We can do everything you can do just in a different way”. And as so many on the political left are fond of saying “You shouldn’t profile people”.
White Cane Awareness month
When someone walks in a public area such as a sidewalk or shopping mall with a white cane, what do you think the white cane is for? You would be surprised at the number of people who have absolutely no clue what it is for or why we have it. Younger children I can understand the mystery, their parents have never taught them any different because they may catch the blindness disease and end up like us. Is that logical? No, but that is the reaction I’ve experienced in the past 13 years.
Meet the Blind Month
This is designed for you, the general public, who has never had much interaction with those of us that are blind before. You are encouraged to seek out someone who is blind or a blind center such as the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACBVI) and actually see how we live our lives.
From daily living, getting around, interacting with others, and various activities. You may be surprised at how well we do it. Hopefully, it will dispel some myths about blindness and those of us that live with it daily.
Writing in the Dark Month
This is probably my favorite day of recognition in October. Why you ask? Simply put I started this group in March of 2016 to showcase the talents of blind writers and to show the world that we can be creative at writing as well as sighted writers can be. We are a combination of both established and newbies who want to express their feelings, dreams, and experiences in published form. One of the newbies is the best younger writers I have ever met or been associated with. And we are making wonderful progress in getting them on the road to publication.
I don’t want to take up much of your time with many of the great days, weeks, and month being celebrated in October so I’ll try to keep these last ones shorter:
National Reading Group Month – Reading groups aren’t just for younger kids in school. Start your own reading group no matter your age.
National Book Month – There are ways for everyone to enjoy books. From book readers for the disabled to the old fashioned way of actually holding a paper product in your hands and falling asleep with it.
Great Books Week- First full week in October – What is your great book? Dig it out of the library, box, book shelf, or find a new one to peruse. Literacy, and the amount of freedom we have, is directly based on how much we read.
National Book Day- October 1
World Teachers Day– October 5 – Celebrate the people who helped you achieve what you have now. The teachers from elementary to college have had an influence even if you didn’t like them.
American Libraries Day-October 6
Dictionary Day/Noah Webster’s Birthday– October 6
Halloween! – October 31 – Sugar addicts, like me, rejoice!
Robert D. Sollars, who has been blind since 2003, is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear