Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist

The month of October is an exciting time – from Halloween, Down Syndrome Awareness Month and World Cerebral Palsy Day to Spina Bifida Awareness Day – there is no shortage of causes for celebration.

At Enable Alabama, we continuously strive to celebrate Account Owners while advancing disability inclusion and awareness. This includes highlighting the many amazing individuals and organizations within our community that consistently work to achieve this overall mission. We are proud to celebrate their efforts and magnify their impact on the Enable Alabama Facebook page, as well as here on our blog. Read on for some of our favorite recent highlights:

  • Have you visited the Birmingham Zoo recently? This summer they opened a new welcome center, which not only includes a new gift shop and two-family rooms, but also a sensory inclusive room for children with autism. Read more in this article from the Alabama News Center: Birmingham Zoo adopts new elephants, opens welcome center
     
  • Fun fact: Birmingham will host the 2021 World Games! Featuring more than 3600 athletes, including athletes with disabilities, it’s sure to be a great show and an exciting opportunity for disability inclusion. To help Alabamians get to know one of the adapted sports they may not be familiar with, the Alabama News Center wrote up this great article: The World Games explained: Wheelchair Rugby
     
  • The EAGLES program at Auburn University, which stands for ‘Education to Accomplish Growth in Life Experiences for Success’, is a new and comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities, and a fantastic opportunity for the local disability community. Read this feature from WSFA 12 to learn more about one history-making member of their inaugural class: Auburn University has its first female student with Down syndrome
     
  • Universal playgrounds are spaces where children of all abilities can come together for fun and friendship. That’s why we’re so excited that Alabama’s second universal playground is in the works in Huntsville! Read all about the project, which is expected to open summer 2020, in this article from WAAY 31: Alabama's Second Universal Playground Coming to Huntsville
     
  • Through her organization Evolve Music Therapy, Prattville native Jocelyn Stovall says that her goal is "to help people of all ages in the River Region to reach their goals through music". Individuals with disabilities have thrived in her program, benefitting both from the music and from the sense of community that each session provides. Read more about Evolve and Jocelyn’s work in this article from AL.com: The power of music therapy: In tune with the times
     
  • Ashley DeRamus, a proud Hoover native with Down syndrome, is an outspoken activist for disability rights and inclusion. She has raised awareness of Down syndrome through her foundation, as well as with a specially designed clothing line, a music video with Grammy winner Jason Crabb, a speech at the United Nations and more. Learn more about her many accomplishments in this article from Yahoo Lifestyle: Meet Ashley Deramus, a Woman With Down Syndrome Who Is Making a Difference
     
  • Attention Jaguars fans! Did you know that the University of South Alabama’s new football stadium will incorporate spread out and accessible seating? Fans in wheelchairs will be able to sit with friends and families of all abilities, and cheer with pride. Check in on their recent progress with this reporting from NBC 15: University of South Alabama shows off stadium progress

Make sure to follow us on Facebook at (@EnableSavingsPlanAlabama) to learn more about current news stories and disability organizations within our community, as well as to stay up to date on the latest Enable Alabama information.