Diversity & Equity Newsletter

October 2022

Four images arranged in a square. Images contain the symbols for wheelchair, sign language, blindness, and cognitive disabilities. An orange bow in the middle has text which reads: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022 (NDEAM 22) is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.”

In the USA, we observe NDEAM to recognize and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities to the labor force. First recognized in 1945 as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week" it later changed its name to "National Employ the Handicapped Week" in 1965 to be more inclusive. Later still, the name was changed to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month" to keep up with the current preferred language, as well as make the whole month be recognized instead of just a week.

Text reads: LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBT History Month

First celebrated in the USA in October 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson, LGBT History Month was started as a way to recognize and celebrate the contributions of LGBT+ people in history. Rodney Wilson was the first openly gay teacher in Missouri. He chose October as the month to celebrate since the first and second LGBT+ Marches on Washington were in October in 1979 and 1987.

LGBTQ+ people have a long history and have been around as long as humanity, long before labels. LGBT people have been parents, teachers, doctors, farmers, police officers, firefighters, politicians, military members, shop owners, and every other job imaginable. From Alan Turing, the man considered to be the father of modern computers, to Marsha P. Johnson, considered largely to be the mother of the Gay Liberation Movement, LGBT people have more than made their mark on the world.

What Does LGBTQIA+ Mean?

LGBTQIA+ stands for:

  • Lesbian: women attracted to women
  • Gay: men attracted to men, often used as an umbrella term
  • Bisexual: people attracted to two or more genders
  • Transgender: people whose gender identity doesn't align with what they were assigned at birth, often used as an umbrella term
  • Queer/Questioning: people who are not cisgender or straight, or people who are still figuring out their sexuality/gender
  • Asexual/Aromantic: people who differently or do not experience sexual or romantic attraction
  • Pan: people attracted to others regardless of gender
  • and more!

Variations of this acronym are used to be the most inclusive of various sexualities, genders, and romantic attractions.

Did you know?

The original Rainbow Pride Flag had 8 colors, each with its own meaning that held importance to the community and the creator, Gilbert Baker. The colors and meanings were:

  • Pink: Sex
  • Red: Life
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow: Sunlight
  • Green: Nature
  • Teal: Magic
  • Blue: Serenity
  • Purple: Spirit

After the assassination of Harvey Milk, demand for the flag increased significantly. The pink stripe needed to be removed during this time due to supply issues, as the pink fabric was hard to find. To continue producing flags, the Paramount Flag Company where Gilbert Baker worked began to use stock fabric that included 7 rainbow stripes. When hanging the flags vertically from light posts, however, they found that one of the stripes was hidden. To solve this problem they removed the teal stripe as well and left us with the 6-color flag we know today!

  • Red: Life
  • Orange: Healing
  • Yellow: Sunlight
  • Green: Nature
  • Blue: Serenity
  • Purple: Spirit
A blue hand print with orange overlay text which reads: STOP BULLYING

Stop Bullying Month

What is Bullying?

Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior, whether verbal or physical, that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying behavior is repeated over time and has lasting effects on both the bully and the victim. Bullying contains actions such as:

  • Taunting
  • Teasing
  • Spreading Rumors
  • Attacking Someone (Physically or Verbally)
  • Excluding Someone On Purpose
  • Embarrassing Someone On Purpose
  • Making Rude Hand Gestures

Bullying and Disability

Students and young people with disabilities are at an increased risk for bullying. Often, perceived differences from their peers can lead to being outcast or made fun of. Bullying behavior or continuing to be bullied can be a result of trauma as well. Creating a safe environment for all children helps to mitigate this. A space where all children know they are heard, loved, and respected goes a long way to keeping bullying to a minimum.

An environment that is intolerant of peoples' varying needs and differences is more likely to create a cycle of bullying behaviors. Likewise, students with disabilities have also been found to occasionally bully as well. Sometimes, this is because said student was bullied in the past and social difficulties led them to think that this is what friendship looks like. Other times it is for the same reason any other child bullies, commonly a need for a feeling of power, superiority, or most likely, emotional support.

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3rd International Neurodiversity & the Built Environment Symposium: PlaceMaking

Friday, Oct. 14th, 12:30-2:45pm

This is an online event.

Ev Smith, ASUA Operations Coordinator and Diversity & Equity Specialist, will be presenting at the 3rd International Neurodiversity and the Built Environment: Placemaking conference on October 14th. Ev will be a panelist on the Design through Advocacy and the Lived Experience session.

The event is co-organized by the Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Thomas Jefferson University and the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity, Jefferson Health in Pennsylvania, as well as the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland at UCD in partnership with SMARTlab teams in Dublin, Skelligs (West of Ireland) and Niagara (Eastern Canada).

The event is free of charge and open to all.

Use this link to register: https://library.jefferson.edu/ql/nd/

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"Karen Misher: Home and Other Reflections"

Thursday, Oct. 20th, 6:30pm

450 South Easton Road

Glenside, PA

ASUA's Founder and Board Chair, Karen Misher, will be presenting her work "Karen Misher: Home and Other Reflections" at Arcadia University from October 4, 2022 through February 5, 2022. The lecture will be on October 20, 2022 at 6:30 in the Great Room, University Commons with a reception held afterwards in the Harrison Gallery. Both events are open and free to the public.

Please use the link below to learn more about Karen's exhibition:

Karen Misher: Home and Other Reflections

We encourage our community of parents, staff, and supporters to visit and view Karen's work!

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ASUA Presents: All Abilities Trunk-or-Treat

Saturday, Oct. 29th, 2-4pm

2450 Hamilton Avenue

Abington, PA

Join us for Trunk-or-Treat at our Annex location, 2450 Hamilton Ave, Abington PA 19001.

  • Free and Open to the Public
  • All Abilities and Ages Welcome
  • Peanut & Tree-Nut Free Treats
  • Prize for Best Decorated Car
  • DIY Scarecrow Station
  • DJ/Music
  • Resource Tables
  • Raffles
  • 50/50
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ASUA's Holiday Market

Saturday, Nov. 12th, 10am-2pm

520 Meetinghouse Road

Jenkintown, PA

Vendors Needed!

Scan the qr-code above or email Trish Corvo at Trish@AStepUpAcademy.org to register or for more information.

Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary

Check out the Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary for current terms and language used to talk about diversity topics. This document will be frequently updated to keep on top of the ever-changing conversations about language usage.

Diversity & Equity Suggestion Box

Do you have a topic or issue for the Diversity & Equity Committee to discuss? Have you found a resource, tool, etc you think would be beneficial to our goals? Do you have any questions or suggestions? This form is anonymous.

On The Spectrum Series - Panel Interest Surveys

The Diversity and Equity Committee will be hosting panel-style workshops featuring adults on the autism spectrum. Please fill out this form so we can see what topics and questions you might like to have covered during these sessions.

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