Did you know this month marks the month that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed?
Tired of the second-class treatment and lack of government empathy, over a thousand people marched to the U.S. Capital on March 12, 1990. Many abandoned their mobility aids and crawled up the steps. They demanded that Congress sign the ADA.
President George H.W. Bush finally heard our voices and signed the ADA on July 26, 1990.
What is the ADA, you ask? It is a civil rights law that protects those with disabilities from discrimination. It was drafted in 1988 by the National Council on Disability and signed into law in 1990. Later, in 2008, it was amended. The law includes ensuring employers accommodate those with disabilities in the workplace and requiring public transportation to be accessible.
Thanks to the ADA, there has been a vast improvement in accommodating those with disabilities.
Each year, to celebrate it, we have a National Disability Pride month. To remind people that we have fought hard to gain equal civil rights for those with disabilities.
"Dismantling centuries of internalized oppression, however, and promoting a widespread sense of Disability pride is easier said than done. Unlike other civil rights movements, people with disabilities do not always benefit from a generational transfer of disability history and pride through the family structure. There are no "disability churches" per se, neighborhood enclaves, or other communal institutions where people with disabilities can come together by choice and consistently receive positive messages that counteract the depredation wrought by the onslaught of cultural terrorism. There is a tremendous need to create a counterculture that teaches new values and beliefs and acknowledges the dignity and worth of all human beings. Disability pride is a direct response to this need." (Sarah Triano, National Disabled Students Union).
How will you celebrate disability pride month? Join a parade? Start a disability advocacy blog?
Feel free to share.