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Denton City Council proclaims July 27 Disability Rights Day

Denton City Council proclaims July 27 Disability Rights Day

Denton City Council proclaims July 27 Disability Rights Day
July 17
20:05 2019

At their July 16 meeting, the Denton City Council proclaimed July 27 Disability Rights Day. The proclamation came as the Disability Committee of the Denton County Democratic Party announced at the meeting that they will be hosting a rally on July 27 on the Denton Square from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

“Having that day recognized as Disability Rights Day is important as it brings awareness to a marginalized group that often goes unrecognized or misrepresented,” said Val Vera, the vice chair of the Committee on Persons with Disabilities. “At the same time the designation is a very small step towards creating a fully inclusive and accessible Denton.”

Vera attended the meeting to further explain the purpose of the rally.

Ms. Wheelchair Texas 2019, Lauren Taylor, speaks in front of the City Council committee on July 16, 2019. Photo by Sophie Mocaleano

“ADA29 is a Disability Rights Rally that will first, commemorate the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Vera. “The ADA is the Civil Rights Law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Second, the event will be a platform to bring awareness to the need for equitable inclusion and access for disabled.”

Disability Rights Advocates from the DFW area will be speaking at the rally, followed by a march, said Vera. Over 100 people have already signed up to attend.

“The proclamation was an affirmation of our work as a committee,” said Judy Thurmond, member of the Committee on Persons with Disabilities. “We meet once a month and there are 12 members who work toward different areas of adaptation and accessibility for people with different types of disabilities.”

Also attending the meeting was Ms. Wheelchair Texas 2019 Lauren Taylor, who spoke on rights for disabled citizens.

“We still have a long way to go for access, but I think it’s important to celebrate our successes and how far we’ve come since before the ADA and since the ADA has been passed,” said Taylor. “It’s a huge deal for me to actually be a speaker presenting at ADA29 just to show my support and show what it means to me to have equal rights as a person with a disability. I can’t even imagine what my life would be if I didn’t have rights because of my physical ability.”

ADA29 is a day to show support for the representation and equal opportunity of rights for disabled individuals, said Taylor.

“Access to vote, buildings, transportation, education, the list goes on,” said Taylor. “It’s our equal rights as human beings. Let’s make environments useable for people with and without disabilities simultaneously, rather than providing separate access. Separate has never been equal.”

The Committee on Persons with Disabilities has been working with the city for fair access for every person. However, Vera said there is still a lot of work to be done with regard to inclusivity.

“There are businesses in out city that are not in compliance with the ADA,” said Vera. “There are programs and services that are not inclusive to people with disabilities and transportation services that we don’t have access to. There’s much work to be done in order to achieve full and equitable inclusion.”

Featured Image: Val Vera, vice chairman of the Committee on Persons with Disabilities, speaks at a City Council meeting on July 16, 2019. Photo by Sophie Moncaleano

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Sophie Moncaleano

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