Disability Pride Month is celebrated in the month of July to honor the history and efforts of the disability community to achieve equality and overcome barriers to employment and inclusion in society. Why July? It marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
At ada.gov we find the following: “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination. Disability rights are civil rights. From voting to parking, the ADA is a law that protects people with disabilities in many areas of public life.”
AMS has a long and rewarding history of hiring individuals with disabilities. We enjoy a longstanding relationship with Pleasantview Industries, thanks to the efforts of our former CEO, Ken Wiseman, who served on the Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. Ken has retired, but the relationship continues on, as well as relationships with Desert Haven, and Carosel Ranch.
Pleasantview Industries is an organization working within the community for many decades. The organization offers job skills training for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning into work life as well as for those ready to seek employment. Desert Haven is an organization supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and Carosel Ranch offers equestrian therapy and vocational training programs. In our experience at AMS, individuals with disabilities are excellent employees, eager to enter the workplace and demonstrate their abilities.
From Wikipedia we find some information as to the beginning of disability pride Month.
“On March 12, 1990, over 1,000 people marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upon arrival, about 60 activists, including eight-year-old Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, physically demonstrated the inaccessibility of public spaces by getting out of their wheelchairs or setting aside their mobility aids and crawling up the Capitol steps in an act of civil disobedience that later became known as the Capitol Crawl. 104 activists were arrested for unlawful demonstration, many of whom were in their wheelchairs. On July 26, 1990 President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Each July is celebrated as Disability Pride Month in commemoration of the historic moment.”
Some of us can think back to the time when there were no ramps for entering buildings and navigating stairs, no ways for disabled individuals to get on a bus in a wheelchair, and so many other obstacles. We are so grateful for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which took these things into consideration.
The first Disability Pride Day was held in 1990 in Boston. On this day more than 400 people marched, drove, and wheeled from City Hall to Boston Common. Their purpose was to demonstrate that disability is a natural part of the human experience, and it does not need to be viewed as tragic. The first Disability Pride Parade, outside of the Boston parades, took place in Chicago. The date was 2004. Fifteen hundred people attended the first parade, and parades have been held every year since with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the years there have been many more parades across the US as well as in England, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and South Korea. As of 2022, Disability Pride Month is not yet nationally recognized in the United States. Hopefully that will change, and soon.
A website called The ARC has some excellent information on how to celebrate Disability Pride Month. From the website we quote the following inspiring words:
“Disability is a part of the rich tapestry of human diversity, and something that nearly all of us will experience at some point in our lives. It’s also a significant identity that defines how we experience the world. Yet people with disabilities have been marginalized and misunderstood for generations. All disabilities and their intersecting identities should be acknowledged, valued, and respected, and one way to do that is during Disability Pride Month.”
We hope you will check out events in your area and enjoy and support them. Visit The ARC HERE.
AMS Fulfillment is a certified B Corporation, committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are greatly benefitted by a diverse workforce.