July: Disability Pride Month

This July, join the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan in recognizing Disability Pride Month and celebrating individuals with disabilities, both invisible and visible. With the anniversary of the  Americans with Disabilities Act  being signed into law in July of 1990, this month aims to promote disability rights, increase awareness of the challenges faced by those with a disability, and foster a more inclusive society where individuals living with a disability can thrive and feel respected.

Looking for ways to learn more about how you can make a difference or learn more about living with disabilities? We have provided some ideas and resources below:

Education and awareness: Take some time this month to read and/or watch media created by and with those living with disabilities. Don’t know where to start? We recommend Disability Visibility by Alice Wong, Being Heumann by Judith Heumann, Hale (2017) directed by Brad Bailey, or this TED Talk-How to Help Employees With Disabilities Thrive.

Accessibility initiatives: Evaluate your workplace for accessibility improvements, both physical and digital. Engage employees in discussions about accessibility challenges they might face and work together to find solutions that improve the overall accessibility and inclusivity of your workplace.

Volunteer and support: Engage with local disability organizations or charities and support their initiatives. This could involve volunteering time, organizing fundraisers, or participating in events that promote disability awareness and empowerment. Some organizations that serve individuals in our region are the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Disability Advocates of Kent County, and Renew Mobility.

Advocacy:  Advocate for the civil rights of all individuals by acting and asking Congress to support the HCBS Access Act. You can send a pre-worded email to Congress via The Arc here.