New York City mayor Bill de Blasio declares July as Disability Pride Month in honor of ADA’s 25th anniversary

This year, thousands of Americans with and without disabilities will celebrate a special, inaugural event—Disability Pride Month. Spurred by the Americans with Disability Act’s 25th anniversary, Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, has declared July as a month to recognize disability culture, spread disability awareness, and celebrate the ADA. Going forward, Disability Pride Month will include annual events honoring the American disability community and disability rights movement, including the Annual Disability Pride Parade.

Disability Pride NYC Organizes the Annual Disability Pride Parade

Disability Pride NYC | Disability Pride MonthThe First Annual Disability Pride Parade is this month’s main Disability Pride event. Scheduled for noon on Sunday, July 12th, the parade will travel down Broadway from Madison Square Park to Union Square Park. The parade will conclude with a celebratory event including performances from musicians, dancers, comedians, elected officials, and other prominent individuals with disabilities.

The Disability Pride Parade is organized by Disability Pride NYC, a 501 c(3) volunteer organization. Disability Pride NYC’s mission statement reads as follows:

“First, we seek to ensure that our annual parades remain of, by and for the disability community. The goals of the parades are to instill or reinforce Pride among all members of the disability community; to change the public perception of people with disabilities; and to tear down the silos that segment our community.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Short History

United States Senator Tom Harkin, the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, will serve as the Disability Pride Parade’s grand marshal. Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act established legislative demands to secure equal access, opportunity, and treatment of all Americans with disabilities. The ADA required public spaces to meet accessibility requirements and made it unlawful for employers to discriminate citizens based on ability.

However progressive the ADA was in the disability rights movement, its laws failed to fully improve the treatment of disabled Americans and transform disability stereotypes. Individuals with disabilities continued to experience prejudice, barriers to adequate housing and education, poor voting stations, and shortages of affordable health care. To this day, the disability rights movement continues to strive for empowerment, self-determination, and equality among disabled Americans.

Disability Pride Month, Disability Pride NYC, and the Annual Disability Pride Parade will continue to celebrate, support, prioritize, and spread awareness of the accomplishments and struggles of members of the American disability community.

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