Thursday, February 28, 2013

February is...

February is the shortest month of the year yet so much goes on during the month. In contemporary culture where it seems we are inundated with so much information its often difficult for many organizations to get their messages out to the masses. So what organizations do is they have awareness campaigns that involve designating a particular month, week or day to bring attention to their causes. I've done it myself with a previous post about Eye Disease and Premature Babies. Guess what... this post isn't going to be any different well maybe a little different *smile*.

I'll honestly say that some of these awareness campaigns can feel overwhelming. Especially if you yourself or you know someone who is affected by or have some connection to whatever cause is being promoted. This feeling is intensified if you can relate to multiple campaigns such as myself. In the United States there seems to be a new campaign launched everyday and it can make people downright cynical to the point where they become apathetic. That's exactly what we don't need in this world. Even though I'm about to share some causes that are important to me at the moment I wonder if there is a better way we can accomplish these things? Maybe its like what Gandhi said
"Be the change you want to see in the world." Well anyway .. I'll get to what I had to share.

I can choose to identify myself as many things. My identity isn't singular but a tapestry of many aspects and so are you. I identify myself as an African American, I have a disability, I have low-vision, and I have a rare-form of Macular Degeneration. Guess what February in the United States is Black (African American) History Month, Disability awareness Month, Macular Degeneration Month, Low-Vision Awareness month and February 28th is International Rare-Disease Awareness Day. Yep all of that and then some, you see why it can feel a little excessive because you want to help all these campaigns. Enough about me though, let's get on to these worthy causes.

  • I came across the article Blindness and Black History: One Leader's Perspective written by Freddie Peaco. Freddie has over 42-years experience working with the Federal government and non-profit organizations and is also visually impaired. In the article she discusses the importance for why learning about African-american history is integral to the understanding of society. Especially making this information accessible for visually impaired persons.
  • On Tumblr I found Hellen Keller Services and they provide Low Vision services in the Brooklyn and Long Island NY areas. In 1953 they were one of the first organizations to provide Low Visions services to the visually impaired.
  • February is also Macular Degeneration Awareness month and you can find more info here at the American Macular Degeneration Foundations site. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment in the world and mostly affects individuals who are aged 60 and older.
  • Lastly February 28th is International Rare Disease day. I have Stargardt's Disease which is a genetic disorder that affects an estimated 25,000 - 30,000 people in the US alone. 
So what causes in were you affected by in February and how do you feel about awareness campaigns? Don't be shy share your opinion in the comments section below.
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