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Why We Celebrate Disability Pride Month in July

four people making happy hand gestures with a brightly colored background and the text 'July is disability pride month'
Published On: June 14, 2024

2024 marks the 24th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark piece of legislation that broke the barriers and opened the world to Americans with disabilities in 1990.

The act went into effect on July 26th, which is why we reserve July as Disability Pride Month to assess where we are, celebrate how far we’ve come, and set goals for making things even better for Americans with disabilities going forward.

The Arc, the largest national community-based organization advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, is celebrating Disability Pride Month 2024 with the theme “We Want a Life Like Yours”. The Arc will be sharing stories from people with disabilities and how they’re thriving in their dreams once provided the chance to do so.

At Opportunity Village, we support the dreams of adults with disabilities in the work we do every day.

Opportunity Village Celebrating 70 Years of Serving People with Disabilities

Opportunity Village has worked tirelessly for 70 years to support people with disabilities in the Las Vegas area. Some of the ways we support the dreams and aspirations of people with disabilities in and around the Las Vegas area are:

  • Day habilitation programs – Opportunity Village day habilitation programs provide people with disabilities with the opportunity to learn different life skills, spend time with peers, partake in fun community activities, and explore new interests. Two different programs are available with Pride and Enable. The Pride program is geared toward individuals with severe disabilities who require 24-hour support, care, and supervision. Pride participants benefit from full-time nursing staff.

The Enable program is also geared toward adults with severe intellectual disabilities, and program participants enjoy activities like American sign language classes, pet therapy, reading classes, community outings, and volunteer programs learning new skills throughout the Las Vegas area.

group of six people standing and sitting in front of a last vegas aviators sign young person cleaning a car

  • Pre-vocational training – As young adults are preparing to explore the world in a new more independent way, Opportunity Village pre-vocational training makes sure they’re ready for this new phase in life. Not just for high school students, these programs are available to all adults with disabilities looking for fulfilling employment.

There are four pre-vocational disability services programs available. Our Job Discovery Program works in coordination with the Clark County School District helping high school students learn job skills. Campus-based training helps participants to learn job and life skills. Pathway to work focuses on training and paid work experience. The Entry program provides on-the-job training in integrated community settings.

  • Employment services – For adults with disabilities, employment services work to find job placements for individuals in the Las Vegas area. Fitting with the Disability Pride Month theme of “We Want a Life Like Yours”, these services are a real-world way to make dreams come true for adults with disabilities in our local communities.
  • Independent living campuses – Betty’s Village is a welcoming and inclusive independent living community built to support the needs of adults with disabilities. All residences are built in a townhouse style, with front-facing porches to encourage communal living. The community boasts a clubhouse, a pool, meeting spaces, and disability services to serve all residents.

infographic of 5 ways you can celebrate disability pride month

 

Ways You Can Celebrate Disability Pride Month

Opportunity Village is proud to celebrate people with disabilities every month of the year. Here are a few ideas to bring the celebration to your community or workplace:

  • Read a book by an author with disabilities – Reading a book by an author with disabilities directly supports the dreams of differently-abled people in a very real way. During Disability Pride Month, choose a book by an author with disabilities and host a book club, read it with friends, or enjoy it on your own. You’ll be treated to a firsthand perspective from a person with disabilities as you directly support individuals achieving their dreams.
  • Host a movie night – With friends, with your family, or projected onto a screen in your community, there are many poignant films focusing on individuals with disabilities. For a community movie night, you can host a vote for which film to play and even sell concessions to benefit local disability-focused organizations.
  • Hire or encourage the hiring of people with disabilities at work – As of 2024, as many as 85% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed. Of those who are employed, less than 20% get to enjoy workplace benefits or work more than 13 hours per week. During Disability Pride Month, businesses can hire individuals with disabilities, encourage the hiring of individuals with disabilities, and advocate for disability services and accommodations in the workplace.
  • Shop with businesses who are disability friendly or owned by people with disabilities – One powerful way to celebrate Disability Pride Month and do so in the “We Want a Life Like Yours” theme is to support and shop with businesses owned by people with disabilities or those who support those with disabilities. You can make a difference when you shop locally at the Opportunity Village Thrift Store, OV Thrift Plus, Dessie’s Table, and our Artworks Studio Store.

July’s Disability Pride Month isn’t the only time to support disability inclusion. Anyone can get involved, any time of the year, and Opportunity Village has plenty of opportunities available to those who want to support these initiatives in the greater Las Vegas area and beyond. Learn how to get involved here.

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