- Matthew Ivan
Over 350 Attend Community Event Celebrating Americans with Disabilities Act
(Auburn) – A crowd of over 350 people joined hosts Disability Network of Mid-Michigan (DNMM) and Personal Assistance Options (PAO) at a community event celebrating the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The event was held Monday night at Auburn City Park and featured live music provided by the Stone Street Revival, food truck, snack stations run by local school groups, bounce houses, and games for the kids. Ike’s Mobile Kayaks provided free kayaking on the pond and attendees could fish from the accessible dock. Numerous vendors had information tables about available resources and there were special visits by Lou E. Loon, Sammy Spirit, and Woody Timberwolf.
“We were delighted and humbled to have so many supporters join us for this important celebration,” said Kathy Allen, PAO Executive Director. “The spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act means that everyone has the ability to contribute to his or her community in a meaningful way. I believe that PAO and DNMM have a similar vision where we encourage a sense of belonging for all and that all people are inherently valuable. We felt that inclusiveness throughout the entire evening”.
In keeping with this year’s ADA theme of “Celebrate, Learn, and Share,” attendees were also invited to share stories of how the ADA has impacted their life or the life of a loved-one. A large timeline of showing the history of the disability rights movement leading up to the passage of the ADA in 1990 adorned a banner at the event entrance. Display banners and signs were spread throughout the main pavilion offering perspectives on what life was like before the ADA for people with disabilities and how things have changed over the last three decades.
“The ADA guaranteed access to transportation, communications technology, employment, government buildings, and public spaces for people with disabilities,” said Kelly PeLong, DNMM Executive Director. “It was sweeping civil rights legislation - the first of its kind in the world - that sought to make our communities accessible and inclusive to all. At DNMM, we are committed to advancing that vision and to promoting independence for all people with disabilities.”