Day 7 Red Shoes Rock: Reflecting FASD

There is much talk on social media lately about the words we use to talk about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, women who drink alcohol, addiction, individuals with FASD and the messages of awareness and prevention. As anything develops over time, the language changes. Even over the four years I’ve written this blog, I notice my own language has changed. No doubt it will change again over the next few years. No matter what we choose to say or portray though, it’s important that what we reflect is respectful.

If you are looking for ideas to replace the language you use, check out Day 21 of 99 Days to FASDay through to Day 27 for suggestions to changing our FASD language.

Day 26 of 99 days to 9.9 FASDay

Today I discovered CanFASD has put out a fantastic guide called Common FASD Messaging:

The purpose of this document is to assist those writing and talking about people with FASD or the issues related to the disability to use the same statistics, framing of topics, and language. The outcome over time will be an improved understanding by the
reader/listener with consistently using these suggestions. This is a living document and areas will be updated as it is informed by the research.

Day 86 of 99 Days to FASDay and 87 looked at a review of Awareness Campaigns in Canada from 2000 – 2004, as well as looking at various images that have been used for general awareness more recently. The Best Start organization, which completed this study, is looking for input again. If you are a service provider in Ontario (Canada) you may want to take part in their FASD Survey for Service Providers:

The Best Start Resource Centre is conducting this survey to guide potential provincial FASD awareness activities in Ontario. This survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your answers will be anonymous. If your survey is completed before September 19th, 2017, you can enter to win a $50 package of resources from the Best Start Resource Centre.

I conducted my own poll on Facebook and Twitter. It wasn’t scientific by any means, and I was limited in how I could phrase the choices (and so results may be skewed) but I was simply curious what image people thought should be used on FASD Awareness Day.

Of course, the survey would have been better using images, rather than words, however I am not creative, nor did I want to use images from other organizations because my intent is not to judge. Different countries, different cultures, different stages of awareness all have an impact on what image and words are chosen. The message and image should be relevent to the audience you are trying to reach. My poll was about a visual for FASD Awareness Day only.

According to a small sampling:

What image do you think is best to use for FASD Awareness Day?

Logo or other representation (ie, butterfly, red shoes, FAS knot, etc.)       42%
Pregnant women                                                                                                 23%
Baby/Babies                                                                                                         21%
Something to show community support                                                           5%
Pictures of support organizations or people                                                    5%
Couples                                                                                                                   3%
Other                                                                                                                       1%
 Other: Pregnant woman with a child in utero circling out through developmental
 stages to an adult standing beside her. It would show that this is a life
 long disability. Drawn as a logo. The woman has a drink in her hand.
What do you think? When we talk about FASD Awareness Day, what image do you think we should be reflecting back to our communities?