My Story About Disability Pride
My 10 year old daughter Mary was born with a rare syndrome that left her with multiple disabilities. It is through her that I became aware of the truth about what being disabled means. Even though she faces different challenges because of her disabilities she is the most beautiful creature on God’s green earth. It’s through my love for her that I started to want the rest of the world to see what I see and know what I know. One day a few years back, right after NYC celebrated Gay Pride Day, I asked myself why there isn’t a Disability Pride Day? Little did I know at the time that Disability Pride was already a national movement and an international one as well. I found that Chicago and other places already had a parade but not New York City? That just seemed wrong so I started making calls and taking it one step at a time learning as I went. I’m glad to say that we now have a 501(c)(3) non profit called Disability Pride NYC. We’re planning our first parade for July 2015. I’m hoping for a big party that not only celebrates people with disabilities but includes all people. A day to reject able-ism and worn-out stereotypes and replace them with a feeling of pride in who and what people with disabilities really are – just another diverse and beautiful aspect of humanity.
Mike LeDonne – Founder, President/CEO
The Pace Report: “Jazz Legends for Disability Pride Concert Highlights”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DISABILITY RIGHTS MOVEMENT (EXCERPT):
While the signing of the ADA placed immediate legislative demands to ensure equal access and equal treatment of people with disabilities, deep-rooted assumptions and stereotypical biases were not instantly transformed with the stroke of a pen. People with disabilities still face prejudice and bias with the stereotypical portrayal of people with disabilities in the movies and in the media, physical barriers to schools, housing and to voting stations, and lack of affordable health care. The promise of the ADA is yet to be fully realized, but the disability rights movement continues to make great strides towards the empowerment and self-determination of Americans with disabilities.
Our fight for disability rights – and why we’re not done yet
Disability Pride Parade: Opening and Parading
Disability Independence Day March, 1993