Welcome to Jewish Disability Awareness Month and JDAMblogs!

Jewish Disability Awareness Month, JDAMblogs, Removing the Stumbling Block
Today marks the first day of February and the official start of the 7th annual Jewish Disability Awareness Month. JDAM is designed to be a unified initiative to raise disability awareness and support efforts to foster inclusion in Jewish communities worldwide.

But I have to be honest. I struggle with the concept of disability awareness. When we look around us we can readily notice that people come in all shapes and sizes, each one of us different than every other. I just do not think that we need people to become more aware of disabilities, but rather to learn how to be genuinely accepting of one another’s differences. This is why the JDAM tagline makes sense to me – FROM Awareness to Inclusion.

For me, the key distinction this month is not to raise awareness of the fact that, yeah, there are Jews with disabilities, but rather that many of those Jews with disabilities are not yet meaningfully included in synagogue and Jewish organizational life. The value of this month lies in raising the awareness that there is so much more we can and should be doing to include those with disabilities in our Jewish communities.

I will be doing my best to blog each day during the month of February in honor of JDAM. You can read more hereabout this initiative. I hope to hear many new voices.

At the bottom of this post you will find a place to link up your blog posts and articles. This will allow readers to find one another’s posts, spread the word about their own and generally serve as an online gathering space for JDAM blogging efforts. Feel free to come back often and link each of your JDAMblogs posts.

Tag every post with #JDAMblogs on social media so we can find and share posts. I encourage you to tweet at me and tag me on Facebook and I will share your content. (#JDAM15 is the other hashtag being used for general JDAM information, resources and events.)

As a Jewish Special Educator, I realize that the vague nature of “join me in blogging” might be overwhelming for some. While you are free to blog on anything that relates to disability, accessibility, inclusion, etc., some may appreciate prompts to get their creative juices flowing:

JDAMblogs; Removing the Stumbling Block
And if writing is “not your thing”, share a photo or artwork or a quote or a video. Honor your own expressive style and do what is most comfortable and most accessible for you.  Don’t shy away from sharing your voice!

Together we can move the Jewish world from awareness to inclusion!

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