Volunteering News: Disability Month gets new name

Disability charities have decided to change the name of their dedicated Year of the Volunteer month in September from Disability to Ability Month in an effort to present a more "positive slant".

Volunteering group CSV co-ordinates charities' involvement in the specialist months and developed working titles for them last November. But Mencap, the RNIB and Scope were unhappy with theirs and overruled the 'Disability' tag at a meeting in December.

The volunteering charity initially resisted the switch because of concerns that the name change might cause confusion among the press and adversely affect media coverage, but decided to relent after pressure.

Paul Hudson, RNIB regional volunteer development manager, argued that the new name wouldn't cloud the issue. He said the charities' main concern was to present a positive front.

"We don't want to highlight people's disabilities," he added. "Calling it Ability Month is a positive slant to highlight the fact that disabled people are able to do positive things. Unfortunately the media will probably call it Disability Month, but we can't do anything about that."

Hudson said the decision was made jointly by the three charities and CSV. But a CSV source disagreed: "It was their decision because disability is their field of expertise."

A spokesman at Scope echoed Hudson's comments: "Disabled people are only disabled by people's attitudes. They have impairments rather than disabilities and that is why we wanted the name changed."

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