The Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association is working through a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council to develop and implement a comprehensive public awareness campaign to underscore and showcase the contributions and abilities of people with disabilities in their communities. The intent is to provide the public with positive images of people with disabilities that will subtly educate the public and reduce stigma.
What is stigma?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines stigma as: a mark of shame or discredit.
We know people with disabilities often live with the burden of stigma placed on them by others – often making them feel ashamed of having a disability, not being like everyone else, not being included.
We believe that stigma is often a matter of people not understanding the disability, not knowing what to say or how to act – or even fearing the person who looks or acts differently than they do. Stigma creates the misperception that a person with a disability is without value, unable or even less than a person without a disability.
We believe with education comes understanding, inclusion and an end to stigma.
Funding for Project Stigma is provided through a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.