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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."

Disability Flag

On December 3, 2017, Valencian dancer Eros Recio created the Disability flag as a symbol of those to show pride. The colors of the flag were inspired by the Paralympics Games. The colors gold, silver, and bronze represent 3 main types of disabilities: physical, mental (intellectual or psychological), and sensory. The representation is general in nature so as not to exclusively represent specific types nor excludes other disabilities other than the three mentioned. The flag has since changed its definition to the 'Flag of Overcoming'.

Society has continued to improve its awareness and inclusiveness by producing resources, communities, and products that aid in advancements in the lives of people with disabilities.

Corporations and businesses alike have been developing new technologies, ideas, and products to aid those with challenges from disabilities. These vary from prosthetics, special seating vehicles, to TTY. With accommodating products, spaces, and services every person has the capability to function

in an efficient way for them.

We at An Otter Milestone want to take time to recognize every person and their talents, skills, and gifts they have to offer. Each person creates a unique view of the whole picture in our community. I can say that I find pride in our community and its ability to recognize that differences are a good thing. If you would like to show recognition for the ingenuity and adaptivity of a loved one or have a challenge you, yourself, have found how to beat, we would love to hear your story. Always feel free to comment below.

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Sherry Hintz
Sherry Hintz
Jul 22, 2021

I have had a couple of smart people in my life that has overcome obstacles through ingenuity. For most who know my family knows that my dad was paraplegic. He was most the time wheelchair bound though did use crutches, leg braces, and medical belt for walking. My dad was also a welder. He did not want to be dependent on mom driving so he created hand controls for his Buick and Oldsmobile.

The second from my grandpa (on mom's side). He was a hard working man all his life which caused his body when he became older to have limited mobility in his shoulders specifically. The limited mobility made simple tasks like putting on socks and shoes; buttoning cuffs;…

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