Participate; Be active in your life; don’t let it pass you by. Engage in activities and social events.
Reveal; Show others your authentic self. There is only one of you, so be proud of who you are.
Inform; Interacting with others from varying groups, creates room for education and awareness.
Diminish; Living your life to the fullest capability, debunks stereotypes and shows possibilities.
Encourage; Our actions impact others. Your determination will transform attitudes.
People walk side by side, smiles and laughter are in the air, as they are filled with an immense sense of pride. As a commemoration to the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, declared July Disability Pride Month in the city. Sunday, July 13, 2015, was a momentous day, kicking off the first NYC annual parade celebrating those with disabilities. Thousands of people with and without disabilities walked in unity to support one another.
Among the participants were former U.S. Senator, Tom Harkin, who in 1990, sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act. Harkin is not an active member of the Senate anymore, but as he said during the parade, “I may be retired from the Senate, but I’m not retired from the fight.” The fight does continue, with an ongoing push towards awareness, accessibility, and equal opportunity.
I created the acronym for pride, listed above, as a way to illustrate the impact disability awareness can have on an individual and society as a whole. Life is all about learning, so take the time to notice those around you, chances are they have a valuable lesson that will be beneficial. Always remember, disability does not mean inability!