Disability Pride Month 2023

Celebrating Disability Pride Month and Honoring Judy Heumann’s Legacy 

Disability Pride Month occurs annually in July to commemorate the passing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States. 

The ADA, passed in 1990, is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against Persons with Disabilities. The implementation of this law put into action sweeping societal change mandating inclusion and accessibility in areas including education, job training, employment equity, transportation, and accessible building construction. 

Disability Pride Month, now recognized globally, has long been connected to activist Judy Heumann. Heumann, widely regarded as the ‘Mother of the Disability Rights Movement’, was instrumental in the creation and implementation of disability rights legislation. 

When Heumann passed away unexpectedly in March 2023 everyone from past presidents to global activists took to social media to express their collective sadness over the loss. 

To honor Disability Pride Month 2022 Judy Heumann shared global sentiments from Persons with Disabilities on her podcast, The Heumann Perspective. Each individual answered the question: What does Disability Pride mean to you? 

Two Next Step Foundation Team members, Terry Mwea and Becky Mwaniki, were selected to be part of the seventeen-person episode.  

Disability pride means I understand my abilities and disability which is a key to success. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I know my disability does not define me as an individual. I know my rights and responsibilities. I make a positive contribution to my family and communities. 

Disability pride month to me is best captured by Judy’s quote, “I wanna see feisty disabled people change the world.” – Terry Mwea 

I believe in both ability and accessibility in disability, my secret to keep me moving forward is I take my disability positively and accept the challenge that “I am disabled and proud.”- Becky Mwaniki

As we celebrate Disability Pride Month 2023, we want to simultaneously honour the lasting impression Judy Heumann’s advocacy made on our Team and acknowledge how Terry and Becky maintain the momentum Heumann started both in and outside the workplace. 

At Next Step Foundation, our mission is to create a society that treats Persons with Disabilities equitably, fostering their full inclusion and active participation. We recognize the invaluable contributions of these two extraordinary women whose personal missions serve to support and propel our foundation’s vision forward. 

Join us as we celebrate Disability Pride Month, honour Judy Heumann’s enduring legacy, and take meaningful steps towards a more inclusive and accessible future. 

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