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October 22, 2004

Vendor Faire will highlight products and services available to people with disabilities

WHO: People with disabilites, caregivers, and people who would like to learn more about resources for the disabled

WHAT: Are invited to Gavilan College's Disability Awareness Vendor Fair which will showcase the services available to people with disabilities in our community. This is a good opportunity to learn about and connect with specialized resources. The event is free and open to the public. Participants will include the Peninsula Center for the Blind, Deaf Counseling and Referral Agency, San Andreas Regional Center, Department of rehabilitation, SHARP Wheelchair Soccer, HOPE Rehabilitation Services, Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, Alliance Vocational Services, Sensory Access Foundation, and Gavilan College Disabled Students Programs and Services.

WHEN: Thursday, October 28, 2004 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WHERE: Gavilan College Student Center, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy, CA 95020

WHY: The Vendor Fair has been planned by Gavilan College Disabled Students Programs and Services as a closing event for the annual Disabilities Awareness Month (October). The purpose of Disabilities Awareness Month is to increase understanding disabilities and the resources available to help. As the Gavilan College website (http://hhh.gavilan.edu/jmaringer/DisabilityAwareness/disability.html) explains:

"Almost everyone will develop physical or other disabilities at some point in their lives. We are all 'temporarily abled'. Many disabilities, including learning disabilities, diabetes, and psychological disabilities, are invisible.

"Depending on how disability is defined, between 15 and 20 percent of US citizens have some limitation due to a disability-between 38 and 52 million people. More than 7 million of us use devices to compensate for mobility impairments: 4.8 million use canes, 1.8 million use walkers, 1.6 million use wheelchairs, 1.7 million use back braces.

"Among working-age people with disabilities who do not work, 39.7% live in poverty. Among working people, in 1995, people with disabilities earned on average only 72 cents for every dollar earned by non-disabled people.

"People with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be assaulted, robbed, or sexually attacked than people who are not disabled. One recent study found that more than 70 percent of women with developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, which represents a 50 percent higher rate than the rest of the population."

Some of the goals of Disabilities Awareness are:

To learn about an important group that is struggling for full inclusion in US society.
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To understand why laws were created to protect people with disabilities, and how they work.
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To appreciate the great and small contributions people with disabilities make to our society.
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To help improve attitudes and eliminate stereotypes that hold back people with disabilities.
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To learn to separate people from their disabilities, so accomplishments are recognized without an inappropriate focus on disability.
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To recognize that we are all just a heartbeat away from becoming disabled through illness or accidents.

For more information about Disabilities Awareness Month, or Gavilan College Disabled Students Programs and Services, please call Susan Sweeney at (408) 848-4871.

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Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800