Red Shoes Rock!
An international awareness campaign giving voice and support to those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.
Red Shoes Rock for:
Turning invisibility into visibility
Changing stigma into understanding and acceptance
Why are we rocking our Red Shoes?
The Red Shoes Rock movement was started in 2013 by RJ Formanek, an educator and advocate living with FASD. He decided to wear red shoes to stand out, be noticed and have fun starting conversations about FASD. In his blog FASD: Presumption of Competence, RJ describes the challenges of living with a hidden disability: “Our brains really are structured differently, and they operate differently … and try as we might we cannot always fulfill those expectations placed upon us.” RJ Formanek is also the founder of the Facebook support group for adults with FASD, called Flying with Broken Wings.
In 2014 Jodee Kulp from Better Endings New Beginnings, a graphic designer and parent of an adult with FASD, stepped in to help RJ build visibility and get the word out. Jodee has made huge contributions as a co-founder of this volunteer-run movement. Their goal is to build awareness and momentum to celebrate FASD Awareness Day. Jodee and the Red Shoes Rock team provide a range of graphics which are free to print or share on social media. View them here.
Read more about the Red Shoes Rock movement.
This year Don Pentz, an artist and friend of NOFASD Australia, created and donated these beautiful animal images, providing an Australian theme for the Red Shoes Rock movement. Bookmarks, fridge magnets, brochures and t-shirts are available to anyone who plans to host an event for FASD Awareness in September. Contact us to request resources.
RJ Formanek rocking his red shoes
FASD Awareness Day
September 9th is International FASD Awareness Day
The 9th day of the 9th month recognises the importance of staying alcohol-free throughout the 9 months of pregnancy. Community events throughout the month of September provide opportunities to raise awareness about FASD and the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure, to support pregnant women and families, and to share this prevention message around the world. Read more about the history of International FASD Awareness Day.
What you can do:
We encourage you to get involved! You might like to host an event, post on social media, display information, or have conversations with people in your community. Our Information Pack provides ideas. You may wish to download FASD Fact Sheets to distribute at an event, play a webinar, or provide your own presentation using our FASD 101 PowerPoint slides. NOFASD Australia also has printable posters for display.
Please have fun with the Red Shoes Rock campaign – an opportunity to get creative! Step out in your red shoes and post photos on social media. You might even like to get your pets involved! #RedShoesRock #FASDawareness
NOFASD Australia is distributing bookmarks, fridge magnets, posters, brochures and t-shirts to individuals and organisations who plan to host an event for FASD Awareness in September (please be mindful of your community’s COVID-19 situation and restrictions when planning events). View our resources and contact us before September 1st to request a resource pack.
These free resources below can be downloaded and printed, or shared electronically, for a FASD Awareness event. Click the links to download:
FASD Facts Brochure – what everyone needs to know
FASD 101 PowerPoint slides – to easily deliver your own FASD presentation
FASD Webinars – perfect for a digital FASD Awareness Day event
FASD and alcohol
In Australia an estimated 60% of pregnancies are exposed to alcohol, often before the parents are aware that they have conceived. An increasing body of research highlights the risks of even small amounts of alcohol to a developing fetus, with the most severe outcome being Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Learn more about alcohol and pregnancy
FASD is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol. FASD is a lifelong disability. Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenges in their daily living, and need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills to reach their full potential. Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges. FASD is a hidden disability, as 80-90% of people with FASD have no visible features. Learn more about FASD
There is no amount of alcohol known to be safe during pregnancy, so it’s best not to drink at all.
The National Health and Medical Research Council advises that “maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby”.
A. For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
B. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.
Healthy pregnancies are not the sole responsibility of women. A fathers’ alcohol consumption impacts the health of his developing baby, and partners play a strong role in supporting alcohol-free pregnancy. Ceasing alcohol use together has been proven to be the most effective way to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
If you have any questions or concerns about alcohol and pregnancy, or FASD, please contact us or call the NOFASD Helpline on 1800 860 613.