EVENT AND ACTIVATION IDEAS
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a group made up of over 200 million people, representing every country, belief system, sexual orientation, gender expression, race, and ethnicity. On a global scale, people with IDD continue to be excluded and isolated from their peers in schools, workplaces, and communities. Below you will find an example calendar of activations, along with a detailed list of activation opportunities throughout the calendar year:
September 2019- august 2020
Week of Inclusion: Partner up with other organizations in your school to take part in a Week of Inclusion any time of year. Choose a week of the school year and make each day a unique celebration of inclusion.
All month: Back to School. Collaborate with local sports teams to host and participate in halftime event to promote Spread the Word: Inclusion at the first sports game of the season. This can be done year-round at basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and hockey games.
15th – October 15th National Hispanic Heritage Month (U.S.) starts in the middle of the month to correspond with the independence of many countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.
- Read, Review, and Recommend: Partner with a local library or your school library to create a display of Hispanic heritage-themed books and/or display an inclusion theme around individuals with IDD. Have each person select a book and write a short review to be displayed at the library.
- Partner with your local Hispanic Association to host a local event that features traditional music, dance, and authentic foods.
All month: National Pizza Month. Hold events and activate around slices of pizza.
- Hold a local pledge pizza party on your campus: Set up a laptop or tablet to encourage people to sign the pledge and/or create a banner for people to sign and pledge support.
- Hold events (dances, parties) celebrating those with intellectual disabilities in your community
11th: International Day of the Girl. PLAN International, an organization that helped create Day of the Girl, is asking individuals to participate in a #GirlTakeover on social media.
Want to use this photo as part of your social post or on an event flyer? Visit our editable links on the bottom of each page.
- Post a picture of how you hope to empower women with intellectual disabilities and use the hashtag!
- Post a picture of how you hope to be more inclusive of women with intellectual disabilities!
- Visit DayOfTheGirl.org and https://www.unicef.org/gender-equality to find a local event near you and to learn more about the day!
13th: World Kindness Day.
- Write uplifting notes and place them on restroom mirrors, in library books, on someone's locker, inside someone's desk, or on their computer screen telling them how you pledge to include on World Kindness Day.
3rd: International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
- Write to politicians from your local, state, and national governments about bills/laws that should be passed to create a more inclusive environment for persons with disabilities. This may include changes to physical access to certain facilities or more inclusive practices within school classrooms by providing necessary resources.
- Hold a forum/discussion regarding the values and goals of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Talk about ways to be more respectful, inclusive, and understanding on a daily basis. Speak to your own experience.
- Hold a performance for persons with disabilities. Allow performers to showcase their unique talents of art, music, and dance.
- Invite local Special Olympics athletes/Best Buddies Ambassadors to speak at your school/campus about inclusion and issues regarding disability.
- Learn more at https://idpwd.org/
All month: International Creativity Month.
- Partner up with your local School of Art/Design or community art organization to host an inclusive art show that showcases work from artists with and without intellectual disabilities.
- Join forces with local bands/musical groups to host a performance by musicians with and without disabilities.
All month: Black History Month. Some ideas for how to celebrate from the NAACP include:
- Host a movie/film marathon of black films starring/featuring individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Read Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech, found at https://www.archives.gov/files/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf
- Check out museums detailing achievements of black individuals who have IDD.
- Partner up with organizations at your school (such as the National Black Student Union) to host a presentation on African American leaders who are educating others on diversity and inclusion of those with intellectual disabilities.
- Explore the experiences of black individuals with IDD.
All month: Women's History Month.
- Give thanks to women with IDD who inspire you. Buy them flowers and write a card explaining how amazing they are!
- Post on social media about how you pledge to include women with intellectual disabilities in your community with the hashtag #PledgeToInclude.
- Check out speeches from the Women's March: https://youtu.be/ZEQS81K0tI8
- Read about influential women with intellectual disabilities from history.
- Visit a local museum that includes the history and achievements of women with intellectual disabilities.
- Check out events running through 2021 to celebrate women! https://womenshistorymonth.gov/
4th: Spread the Word: Inclusion Day
- Hold a local pledge event at school or in your community. Set up a laptop or tablet to encourage people to sign the pledge page on the spot and/or create a banner for people to sign on the spot. Invite local Special Olympics athletes or International Global Messengers to speak at an assembly.
- Work with local sports teams to participate in a halftime event to promote Spread the Word Inclusion.
- Spread the Word Inclusion samples are on the resources page of our website (www.spreadtheword.global)
- Use sample leaflets and talking points; hang posters; create and hand out stickers; send e-mails; text/call your family and friends; create your own Spread the Word Inclusion Rally; use your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn); join Spread the World Inclusion's social networking pages; send an Evite to friends to take the pledge and spread the word online.
- Print and distribute leaflets throughout your community.
- Notify the press. Call local radio shows; write letters to the editor of your local newspaper using the samples provided in this kit; direct message/tweet at news reporters via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Post a comment to an online social message board sharing your thoughts about inclusion in society. Ex.: "Inclusion matters because... We can create a more inclusive world by... The world will benefit from more inclusion by...".
- Create a video speaking about inclusion. Post it online and share it on our Facebook page so we can add it to the growing list of videos on our website. Share the link with your friends and family.
- Always include the hashtag #PledgetoInclude to grow the movement!
- Post your event's time and location in the community events section of your hometown newspaper or in your school newspaper or website. Don't forget to register your event on our website--www.spreadtheword.global
- Share a story about your experience with the Inclusion campaign, why others should pledge, or how people can get involved through the blog, "Our Words."
- Visit www.medium.com/specialolympics to read other stories and contribute your own!
- Create a Week of Inclusion. Partner up with other student organizations to organize luncheons, assemblies, speakers, and rallies to get others to #PledgetoInclude.
- Contact your local Special Olympics or Best Buddies office to learn how to get involved in Spread the Word Inclusion events in your community.
All month: Autism Awareness Month.
- Attend an autism awareness event near you!
- Start a fundraiser through Facebook! 1) Decide on a goal for the fundraiser 2) Share your personal story, beliefs, and thoughts on including those with autism 3) Tell your friends and family about your fundraising hopes and goals 4) Share your fundraiser on Facebook.
2nd: World Autism Awareness Day.
- Wear blue!
- Post a picture decked out in blue.
- Partner with an autism advocacy organization to promote inclusion of individuals with autism.
- Write sticky notes on how you pledge to include those with autism and post them at libraries, in schools, and around your community.
20th: World Bee Day (BEE Inclusive)
- Wear the yellow Spread the Word: Inclusion yellow or black t-shirt.
- Gather a group of friends and explore ways you can be more inclusive in your community.
All month: Pride Month.
- Find a pride parade near you and march in rainbow!
- Explore the intersection of identities regarding sexual orientation and intellectual disability.
- Support organizations that support those who identify as LBGTQ and who have intellectual disabilities.
- Throw a party celebrating pride! Fly rainbow flags and have colorful decorations!
- Join activist groups that advocate for the rights of LGBTQ individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Watch a documentary or visit a museum to learn more about LBGTQ history.
- Talk with individuals of the LGBTQ-intellectual disability community about their experiences.
30th: International Day of Friendship.
- Write a card to a friend with an intellectual disability telling them how much they mean to you.
- Reach out to an individual with an intellectual disability, take them out to coffee/lunch, and make a new friend!
- Host a dinner party including individuals with and without intellectual disabilities.
- Make a difference with your friends and volunteer together at a food bank or clothing drive.
- Text five of your friends a thoughtful message about how you pledge to be more inclusive and how they can, too.
- Make your friends friendship bracelets: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Friendship-Bracelet. Use white and blue thread to represent Spread the Word and your pledge to be inclusive. Distribute the bracelets at your school and in your community!
26th: Women's Equality Day.
- March for equality for women with intellectual disabilities!
- Take a woman who inspires you out to lunch, buy her flowers, and/or write her a thoughtful note.
- Read a book by an influential female author that deals with subjects regarding intellectual disabilities.
HOW TO GET STARTED
- Gather a team of adults/students/athletes/volunteers that will plan and carry out the activation event.
- Make banners and posters to hang and flyers to distribute throughout your school/community promoting the event. In these promotions, make sure to highlight the date and time of the event.
- In addition to posters and flyers, utilize the school/club website and social media pages to share your event.