July is Disability Pride Month in Salisbury MD!

At the top of the letter is a seal that reads, “The Seal of the City of Salisbury, Maryland 1732.” The imagery in the middle is a tree, a sailboat, and landscape general city imageries depicting the city.

Proclamation

WHEREAS, 
July is Disability Pride Month — it coincides with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and offers an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the pride, power, and unity of people with disabilities, their families and allies;  and

WHEREAS,
“Disability Pride” has been defined as accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness, seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity; and

WHERAS,
this annual observance is used to promote visibility and mainstream awareness of the positive pride felt by people with disabilities— pride that comes from celebrating their heritage, disability culture, and the unique experiences they as people with differing abilities lend and contribute to society; and

WHEREAS,

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990 to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities by establishing a clear and comprehensive  national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and since  signed into law it has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers, changing perceptions, and increasing full participation into community; and 

WHEREAS, 
people with disabilities are the largest and most diverse minority within the population, representing all abilities, ages, reaches, ethnicities, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds, and

WHERAS 
the City of Salisbury works with its own Disability Advisory Committee which was established on October 1, 1990  to ensure that those with disabilities have an equitable opportunity to participate in, benefit from, and relish the opportunities their Community provides as the Committee assists and understanding the attributes of the attributes of people with disabilities; and

WHERAS, 
the City of Salisbury celebrates and and recognizes the 30th Anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the progress that has been made since 1990 by reaffirming the principles of equality and inclusion, and recommitting City effort efforts to reach full ADA compliance; 

NOW THEREFORE, I, Julia Glanz, City Administrator of the City of Salisbury, do hereby proclaim July 2020 as

“DISABILITY PRIDE MONTH”

in our City and invite everyone to learn more about the significance of this celebration of those who are differently-abled, and to advocate for a more inclusive and accessible world for all.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, I hereunto set my hand and the seal of the City of Salisbury this 13th day of July, 2020

Image of the seal of Salisbury at the bottom with a signature of the City Administrator Julia's at the bottom
Image Description: this is the Proclamation of Salisbury’s Disability Pride Day. Due to the length, I have added this caption to the Alt text box. Please click that for the caption. I have a full transcription available if needed.

July is officially DISABILITY PRIDE MONTH in Salisbury, MD. Can I say that with anymore excitement? I don’t think so.

Major cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago all recognize this with Parades and great celebrations! Now the city (where I call home) has decided to honor Disability Pride Month. This is a very personal and celebratory thing for me.

This is a big thing for so many disabled people who often hear the world disability and consider it to be a bad thing.It’s no great secret if you’re reading this that I use a wheelchair.


If you told the younger me that I would see Disability Pride, I would stare at you blankly. I could never grasp the concept of celebrating my wheelchair. I wasn’t proud of being disabled. I was beyond embarrassed by the pink wheelchair that has become centralized to my advocacy; almost to my outward identity.


I remember thinking that I could never imagine being proud of my disability because so much of the world had always told me that it was something to carry with shame. It’s difficult to put into words the progression that I have made. It started slowly, just like a seedling. One day this month, I’ll share more on that journey. Today, I want to focus on this specifically.


I want to put into words what it means to see the city I live in to make strides to make the progression to acknowledging me, my fellow disabled people, and all disabled people. It means something to have a seat and a table. My voice counts so does yours.

When people Google “Disability Pride Month” – they’ll now see Salisbury, MD. Seriously. Isn’t that incredible? We often joke about the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its archaism, but I’m proud of so many things that happen in Salisbury.


This is one of them.


It matters when your city is doing things to improve the lives of disabled people. They’re working towards the betterment of disabled people locally.

Disability is visible, invisible, and can represent people who are on the neurodiversity spectrum (Autism for example). Disability is a broad spectrum to display an entire representation of people. It’s diverse, just like the people themselves. No matter what, we must fight on for all disabled people.

Especially for those who can’t always advocate for themselves or are not in positions to do so. This is one step though that is huge. It means so much. I can’t say enough, but to simply say:


THANK YOU, Salisbury Maryland!


On behalf of this Salisbury girl,


Now go celebrate Disability Pride Month!


Even if we can’t celebrate here with festivals: go take a photo of your smiling face, snap a photo of you with the Disability Pride flag (yes – it exists), or go celebrate in your favorite adaptable way! No matter what you do, I promise you that this girl right here will be celebrating Disability Pride Month all month long! I’ll still be talking about Salisbury. I also want to talk about ways that you can “celebrate” with me.

With love,

Dom

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