October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month—a time to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of people living with Spina Bifida in the United States. Every October, we share anecdotes from our community that challenge us to raise awareness and support those around us affected by Spina Bifida. As a community, we can do this by spreading the word about Spina Bifida in our own circles or to the larger networks of which we are a part of. This is also a great time for us to discover new ways to get involved in awareness and advocacy activities.
Here are 10 ideas you can do to raise awareness this season:
- Host a school or workplace Awareness Day
We’ve seen schools that have a crazy sock day and dress-down days. You could host a Teal Awareness Day – where everyone wears teal for Spina Bifida. Events like this are also suitable for the workplace. See if you can host a casual Friday (everyone pays $5 to dress casually), or make October 25th, World Spina Bifida Day, a “paint the office teal” day, and everyone wears as much teal as they can. Thinking about a school fundraiser? Check out our school form you can give to your school administrators! Looking for additional resources? We can help you out. Email us!
- Stay up to date with all Awareness Month activities with us on Social Media
Over the next month and a half, we will be sharing stories from our community that highlight their unique experiences. We’ll also have graphics you can use to raise awareness from your own social channels. Follow SBA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join in on the fun! Be sure to use #SpinaBifida AwarenessMonth and #SBAM2021. If you want to get started now, you could share one of these graphics:
- Raise your voice and share a story.
Spina Bifida Awareness Month is an incredible time to share stories, connect with each other and spread awareness around Spina Bifida. Every year people get creative with how they share their stories to raise awareness. Everything about you and that you’ve gone through, big or small, can raise awareness. You could upload a short video or you could just share a small story along with a fact on your social media pages. Here are some great stories from Awareness Months past:
Do you want to share a story on our social media pages? We’d love to feature you, send us an email.
- Advocate with the Spina Bifida community
SBA is always busy advocating for the Spina Bifida community. When we’re not in meetings on Capitol Hill, or working on our annual advocacy day – Teal on the Hill, we strive to bring awareness and advocate for bills and funding that are important to the Spina Bifida community. Right now, there’s an incredible opportunity for us to advocate for once-in-a-generation legislation related to home and community-based services (HCBS). This would help millions of Americans with disabilities have access to quality home health care. You can learn more and easily advocate here.
This year, on October 2nd, we’re coming together virtually as a national community to Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida. It’s the perfect awareness month activity to get engaged, support our community and our mission, and raise awareness! We have a jam-packed agenda featuring live activity sessions, Q&A sessions, and so much more! If you’re not near a pre-existing Walk-N-Roll event, consider a DIY Walk-N-Roll. Anyone and everyone can participate!
- Contact your local media
If you’re hosting an awareness day, community event, sharing a story, or participating in Walk-N-Roll, reach out to your local media outlets and ask them to provide coverage of your awareness activity! Newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations are all interested in stories that speak to awareness and connect our broad community. Here is an excellent resource with tips to get your story covered by local media!
- Set up a Library display case or information table
Did you know that most public and school libraries will allow you to set up a display case to promote a topic or cause? Your display case can have photos, stories, Spina Bifida facts, brochures, etc. This is a great way to raise awareness about Spina Bifida, disability & accessibility as it pertains to your community! If you’re interested in doing this, use one of these fact sheets specific to your state.
- Become informed and stay connected
Sign up for our electronic newsletter! We share Spina Bifida community news, research updates, local and national events, advocacy opportunities, and information on education and support.
- Make a new friend
Are you on social media? If you are, try searching #SpinaBifidaAwareness Month or #SBAM2021. We are always stronger together, and if you connect with someone new you might not only make a new friend, but you might make a difference in someone else’s life. Need an easy place to start? See if there is a chapter or SB Connect near you.
- Make a better and brighter future
Do you know how life-changing your donations are for our community? This year, we’ve had hundreds of calls to our National Resource Center. All these calls are from people in our community who are looking for critical and important information and support. Your donations are what allow us to continue this support effort, for October this year, will you continue to support our community that’s in need of critical support? If you make a donation between now and October 31st, as a thank you we’ll send you a silicone, latex-free, Spina Bifida Awareness Bracelet so you can be easily raising awareness now and all year long.