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Everyone has a Gift to Share

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

We at An Otter Milestone enjoy talking about different cultures, holidays, and trends. In doing so, we keep learning as well. It wasn't until recently (within last week) that we heard July was Disability Pride Month. When we heard about this we weren't sure what this was nor how it came about. What we learned was amazing and we were wanting to share.

It has only been 3 decades since the largest and most diverse minority group has had a true chance to show off the skills and talents they have to offer. In fact, it was July 26, 1990, When 41st US President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. ADA protected and gave access to those who had disabilities in areas of transportation, employment, public accommodations, communications, and services.

Prior to 1990, those who had any diagnosed disability had very little protection to find or keep jobs. It was the same year that Boston recognized ADA and had a Disability Pride Day with Speaker Karen Thompson. Since the first parade, there have been many others that have been hosted around the Nation, including cities such as Chicago, IL; Mountain View, CA; Trenton, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and Nacogdoches, TX to name a few. Columbus, Ohio had its Disability Pride Parade in 2014.

The pride events are defined, by Ameridisability, as "accepting and honoring each person's

uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity". Having pride is being able to accept every part of a person's identity which includes gender, race, height, hobbies, personality, disabilities, etc. Sarah Triano, National Disabled Students Union, said "There is a tremendous need to create a counter-culture 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."