In honor of Disability Visibility Month, also known as Disability Pride Month, Denton Parks and Recreation is leading the way in celebrating the history, achievements, and experiences of individuals with disabilities. Celebrated every July, this commemorative month marks the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.
The ADA, a landmark legislation, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and mandates equal access to public spaces. Evident throughout our community, the ADA’s impact is demonstrated through automatic door buttons and sensors, designated spaces in weight rooms, chair lifts at the pools, and ramps leading to buildings. In a recent development, Denton Parks and Recreation has enhanced accessibility with a visual indicator for the wave pool to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities and vision impairments.
As quoted by the National Council on Independent Living, “Disability pride is a tool to fight against ableism by affirming one’s self-worth as a disabled person in an ableist society.” True to this spirit, Denton Parks and Recreation celebrates disability pride by promoting growth through the Adapted Rec programs.
These tailored programs encourage individuals with disabilities to try new experiences, such as hiking with the all-terrain Freedom Chair, or exploring their creativity through pottery in the Arts and Crafts program. Disability is not a limitation, but a different way of experiencing the world, as showcased by sports like goalball and boccia – intense Paralympic games played by individuals with various disabilities.
Engaging with Disability Pride Month can take many forms. Community members can support local artists with disabilities, attend shows and activities led by instructors with disabilities, or participate in programs and activities specifically designed for people with disabilities. Denton Parks and Recreation hosts several such activities and classes, offering opportunities for individuals with disabilities to engage in sports, art, social gatherings, dances, and more.
Community members are encouraged to get involved by attending these activities, volunteering, or spreading the word. An important part of promoting Disability Visibility Month is educating the public and decreasing biases against disabilities, ultimately creating a more inclusive community.
So, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Increasing awareness and understanding is key to a more inclusive future, and we all have a role to play in achieving this goal. Let’s celebrate Disability Pride Month together and move towards a more understanding and accepting society.