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If you are familiar with me or have browsed my website, which I encourage you to do if you have stumbled across me for the first time, you know that I am passionate about working with the Special Needs/Disabled Community. I am a Chartered Special Needs Consultant as well as a Financial Advisor. This passion stems from the adoption of our special needs daughter over 16 years ago. You can read more about this on the About Us page of my website. I have also included a link for a guide to community resources for the Special Needs and Disabled on our website that we continue to update Resources for Special Needs – Clover Leaf Wealth Strategies. But right now I would like to bring some awareness to July being Disability Pride Month!
Disability Pride Month is celebrated for the month of July every year and marks the Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990. While this landmark legislation helped to break down barriers to inclusion, there is still work to be done. Celebrating Disability Pride gives each of us the opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community.
Maybe you currently have a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor with a disability. When you think about it you probably know several people with some sort of disability. Even if disability may not seem to directly affect your life now, it is likely that each of us (directly or indirectly) will all be impacted by some sort of physical or mental disability at some point in our lives. This disability could be the result of an accident, an illness, or something that develops with age. Either way, Disability Pride Month is a great time to reflect and acknowledge those in your life and community with disabilities by making them feel seen, valued and respected.
A few Ideas on How to Celebrate Disability Pride Month
1. Learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act at The Americans with Disabilities Act | ADA.gov or the History of Disability Rights. You may want to check out The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement – University of California, Berkeley
2. Share your knowledge about disability with your children, and coordinate with schools and educational institutions to promote inclusive practices. Starting age-appropriate conversations early about disability can help encourage acceptance and inclusion in future.
3. Volunteer at or donate to local disability organizations. I quick web search will likely result in several organizations in need of volunteers, donations, or sponsorships for events, workshops or campaigns. Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the community and directly engage with individuals with disabilities.
4. Social media campaigns: Utilize social media platforms to share informative posts, personal stories, and inspiring quotes related to Disability Pride Month. Encourage others to join the conversation, share their experiences, and use relevant hashtags to spread awareness.
5. Organize an awareness campaign: Collaborate with local organizations, schools, and community centers to launch an awareness campaign. This can include hosting informational sessions, workshops, and panel discussions about disability rights, accessibility, and disability awareness.
6. Hire or encourage your employer to hire persons with disabilities.
7. Arrange inclusive sports events: Organize adaptive sports events or tournaments where individuals with disabilities can participate. This can include wheelchair basketball, blind soccer, wheelchair rugby, or any other adapted sport. Encourage spectators to attend and cheer for the athletes.
8. Share personal stories: Encourage individuals with disabilities to share their stories, experiences, and achievements through written articles, blog posts, or social media campaigns. Create a platform to amplify their voices and raise awareness about the challenges they face and the triumphs they achieve.
These are just a few ideas. Remember, celebrating Disability Pride Month is not limited to one specific activity or event. It’s about embracing diversity, promoting inclusivity, and empowering individuals with disabilities throughout the entire month and beyond.
Note: The flag pictured is the Disability Pride Flag. An interesting article about it’s origin and meaning can be found a Disability Pride Flag: Origin, Colors and Significance (goodhousekeeping.com)
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