Disability Awareness Week

Tuesday, October 9 – Saturday, October 13, 2018


Tuesday, October 9

“Lunch & Learn: The ABCs of ADA,” 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM, Community Room

This workshop on the Americans with Disabilities Act will be presented by longtime ADA advocate/educator Elanah Sherman. Learn the structure of the ADA and how to identify discriminatory situations though the lens of the law. Pizza will be served! Registration is required. Call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext, 128, or register online.

Wednesday, October 10

“Resource Fair,” 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Community Room

Representatives from community organizations and public agencies will be available to discuss their services and provide material.

“Special Needs Trusts,” 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM, Community Room

Stuart Hawkins, founder of Futures Planned, LLC and the parent of an adult child with disabilities, will address the many complexities involved in establishing a special needs trust. Registration is required. Call Julie at 860-889-2365 ext. 128, or register online.

Thursday, October 11

No events, but consider attending the non-partisan Candidates’ Forum sponsored by the CT Cross-Disability Alliance at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell! For more information, contact Elanah at elanahs@gmail.com or 860-614-7200.


Friday, October 12

“Municipal Roundtable,” 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, Community Room

Norwich officials will discuss current ADA compliance initiatives and answer questions on next steps in creating a model ADA community.

“Jazz in the Stacks,” 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Otis Atrium

Concert by Blue Soul Jazz Unit, featuring Greater Hartford’s Ricky Alfonso on trumpet. Funded by Eastern CT Savings Bank.


Saturday, October 13

“Legislative Panel,” 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Community Room

Area legislators talk about key disability-related legislation from this past session and address topics likely to come up in 2019. Want to submit a question? Contact Elanah at elanahs@gmail.com or 860-614-7200.

“Woof and Work! A Service Animal Demonstration,” 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Community Room

At this family event, service animal owners show what an educated animal can do (and why)!

 “A Brief History of Mental Health Treatment and Advocacy in Eastern Connecticut”

Note: The exhibit “Character and Characters: The Disability Rights Movement in Eastern Connecticut, 1980 – 2000,” will be on display in the Community Room from October 2 – October 31. This exhibit, first installed in the library in 2010, celebrates the many Eastern Connecticut residents who contributed in vital ways to the establishment and protection of civil rights for people with disabilities.

 StoryCorps, a national oral history project, visited Otis Library to record and preserve the stories of the Norwich community. The StoryCorps days were a gift from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of Otis Library’s National Medal Award. Recordings took place on November 1, 2 and 3 in 2016 at Otis Library.  Over 30 people participated in the recordings. The theme of the stories was “Norwich Life and Landscapes.”

In this recording, Joe Mercer talks to his longtime friend, David Burnett, about how David became his therapist at Reliance House - now called Reliance Health - in Norwich, Connecticut more than 30 years ago. They talk about the evolution of their relationship, the struggles Joe has faced with mental health, and what they have taught one another.

All events are free! For material in alternative format, please contact Elanah Sherman at elanahs@gmail.com or 860-614-7200. For sign language interpretation, please contact Julie Menders before October 2 at jmenders@otislibrarynorwich.org  or 860-889-2365, x 128.


Disability Awareness Week is sponsored by the Norwich Commission for Persons with Disabilities, with the essential support of the City of Norwich Office of the Mayor, Eastern Connecticut Savings Bank, Norwich Public Utilities, and Otis Library.