Hope Services Leadership and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee are thrilled to celebrate Disability Pride Month this July and look forward to National Disability Independence Day on July 26th. Disability Pride Month commemorates the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and brings attention to the disability community and its importance. 

At Hope Services, we celebrate disability independence and awareness daily. The programs and services at Hope are focused on providing opportunities, education, and support to individuals on their path to independence. These activities are in line with Hope’s mission:

Hope’s Mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.” 

The American disability movement began in the 1960s and was inspired by other civil rights struggles of the times. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 solidified the rights of the disabled community by ensuring freedom from discrimination in employment, transportation, communication, as well as government and public establishments. To learn more about the ADA, visit the ADA National Network for information and training opportunities. There are a few facts about disability that you may not know:

  1. More than 1 billion people in the world are affected by disabilities.
  2. One in five people in the US have some kind of disability.
  3. In the US, 70% of people with disabilities rely on friends and family to assist them with daily activities, and 40% of them do not have any assistance.

There are many ways that Hope Services continues to honor the progress made through the disability movement. We do so by respecting individual experiences, recognizing a person’s full identity, as well as being present and humble. Throughout the month, let’s take the time to further our respect for the independence of people with disabilities by considering these suggestions:

  1. Do not make assumptions about a person based on their disability. A person’s abilities are only a small part of their overall personhood and experience.
  2. Ask permission to help first before assuming someone needs help.
  3. Speak directly to the person by making eye contact, addressing comments, and asking questions directly to the person.
  4. Respect the person’s privacy, i.e., don’t ask questions about the disability unless you have a reason to know.
  5. Check out other tips by reviewing this Disability Etiquette Guide.
  6. Listen to A.D.A Now! on NPR.com.

Join us in celebrating DiversABILITY on National Disability Independence Day on July 26th, and raising greater awareness for the disability community all month long!