July is Disability Awareness month within which the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) – signed on the 26th – is celebrated every year. The current pandemic season has ushered in both great loss as well as great innovation. 2020 will go down in history as the very first time that celebrating the ADA was globally accessible around the world! Many information and celebration events, that would otherwise require travel, ticketing and access went virtual for the entire month of July and beyond.
As part of our personal efforts to engage, educate and encourage businesses to recognize their entire workforce, we invited ADA leaders to virtually share best practices with corporate America on July 16th, to recognize #ADA30 in the workplace. The live event was a masterclass! Replay, resources and presentations have been available to live attendees as well as those that reached out to hear the following ADA champions:
Champion Event Speakers
- Cara E. Yar Khan – the Founder of Rise Consulting Services with expertise in the assessment of inclusion, diversity strategy creation, budgeting and fundraising.
- Carmen Daniels Jones – the CEO and President of Solutions Marketing Group (SMG), an international marketing firm teaching clients how to effectively and precisely understand, penetrate and retain the disability market.
- Cyndi Smith – the Program Manager of the Southeast ADA Center, tasked with providing information, training, and guidance on ADA and disability access for business, government, local, state, and regional levels.
- Danny Woodburn – disabled Actor, Comedic Activist and author of responsible for White Paper published by the Ruderman Family Foundation.
- Jill Houghton – President and CEO of Disability:IN, known for empowering business to achieve disability inclusion and equality through the DEI index.
- Marci Roth – Executive Director/CEO of the World Institute on Disability
- Maysoon Zayid – actress, Comedian and Disability Rights Activist credited for the most watched TedTalk of 2014.
- Tari Hartman Squire, Founding CEO of EIN SOF Communications, Inc., a full-service marketing firm and employment consultation agency specializing in disability-inclusive diversity and public policy.
leaders Reverend C.T. Vivian (95) and Congressman John Lewis (80), both whom worked alongside Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They were laid to rest on July 31, 2020, in Georgia and Tennessee, respectively.
Congressman Lewis was honored with six days of ceremonies beginning in his hometown of Alabama. He crossed the historical Edmund Pettus Bridge (where he suffered a brain injury from a skull fracture on “Bloody Sunday”), laid in state in both Washington, D.C., as well as in the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda. We had the honor of paying our respects at a private, socially distanced ceremony alongside elected officials and just before the doors opened to the thousands of Georgia residents waiting in line to do the same.
As we mourn the lost and celebrate their work, allies and activists for diversity, equality and inclusion obligate us to reclaim greatness in spaces where we own content, offer lived experiences and mandate authentic inclusion of the voices of people with disabilities. In doing so, we no longer need to hold the door for others to come behind us but rather take it off the hinges to ensure that it’s never closed again. by others.
Long after the pointed “Happy Birthday ADA” celebration hat is removed, we can turn it around to represent a bullhorn guaranteeing voices around the world are being heard as a call in, not a callout, to grow inclusive policies and program around diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the workplace and the world.
*FDA Class II Medical Device
Pride FDA Class II Medical Devices Are designed to aid individuals with mobility