ADA Moving Forward Celebration!

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The Portland Commission on Disability and the Connecting Communities Coalition are hosting a fun event this Friday, July 26th at City Hall. The occasion? Why, it’s to celebrate the 23rd birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Blue and white image showing eight icons for physical access for mobility, hearing, and vision.

This celebration is free and open to everyone. Food and drink will be provided. ILR Music Collective and Camilla Rose are performing live music. There will also be speakers from the community and lots of opportunity to mix and mingle!

This event isn’t just about disability. It’s about looking at equity–how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. The event’s Emcee, Polo Catalani, is interested in how groups can come together to work toward common and similar goals. For instance, maybe some of the microenterprise programs that some of our community members from other countries participate in here could work quite well with disabled folks too!

At a recent event planning meeting, Polo talked about how his community does not even use a term like “disability” to describe ways that people can be different from each other. He says the emphasis is on who you are, your roles and responsibilities, and what you can do with and for the community. There’s no real reason to point out certain folks and say “but they can’t do that” as a way to label them as different from the “norm.”

The spirit of the ADA is that disabled people are people, and accommodations can be just part of everyday life in an inclusive, respectful society. It’s not about extras, bonuses, and handouts. The ADA is only asking us to provide the minimum of accessibility to promote inclusion. Then, it’s up to us to come together, celebrate, share some food, get to know each other, and find out what else we need to do beyond that minimum. And then do those things.

Friday, July 26, 2013
4:00pm – 6:30pm
Portland City Hall Courtyard at 1221 SW 4th Ave. (downtown Portland)