The Rapidian

Disability Advocates of Kent County throws Celebrate Ability Picnic

Join us July 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Kentwood Branch of Kent District Library to celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 35th Anniversary of Disability Advocates of Kent County!
Disability Advocates Executive Director Dave Bulkowski and Staff

Disability Advocates Executive Director Dave Bulkowski and Staff /Cody Brinkert

Underwriting support from:

Celebrate Ability Picnic

July 26, 2016

4 to 6 p.m.

Kent District Library-Kentwood Branch: 4950 Breton Rd SE, Kentwood, MI, 49508

Grand Rapids resident Duane Derochy

Grand Rapids resident Duane Derochy /Cody Brinkert

Arts in Motion Dance Studio

Arts in Motion Dance Studio /Cody Brinkert

Join in on the celebration of the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as Disability Advocates' 35th Anniversary!

Disability Advocates, along with community partners that provide services to individuals with disabilities, will come together on July 26th from 4-6PM at the Kentwood Branch of the Kent District Library at this FREE event to share information about their services and teach the public about the significance of the ADA.

The ADA was passed in 1990 and prohibited discrimination against those with physical or mental disabilites in all areas of public life, including employment, schooling, public accommodations, communications, governmental activities, and transportation. The act pushes for equal opportunities for individuals with disabilites and provides protection to those with disabilities that are similar to those provided to individuals based on race, color, national origin, age, religion, and sex. Today, even as we acknowledge the long road ahead in acheiving complete accessiblity and equality for all persons, we celebrate the positive impact the ADA has had in discouraging discrimination and exclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Disability Advocates of Kent County was founded in 1981 by persons with disabilities who sought to help themselves and other individuals with disabilities gain control over their own lives. Disability Advocates began as the Grand Rapids "Center for Independent Living," the title used by other such emerging efforts around the country. In 2002, the name was changed to Disability Advocates of Kent County to more accurately describe the role played in the Grand Rapids community. Throughout this thirty-five year history, Disability Advocates has maintained the status as a federally- and state-recognized "center for independent living" as defined in the Rehabilitation Act.

Disability Advocates of Kent County strives to provide support in a variety of issue areas including transportation, housing, employment, and education. Additionally, Disability Advocates pushes for systems change and the local, state, and federal levels in order to assure that these systems meet their intended goals and are changed when necessary.

The Celebrate Ability Picnic will include vocal performances by Ralston Bowles, Cassaundra Bell, and Sarah Stanford, as well as a performance by Arts In Motion dance studio. The event will be DJ'd by Matthew Murphy.

Guests can enjoy food, hoola-hoops, and cornhole as they meet various organizations that partner with Disability Advocates of Kent County, including: IKUS Life Enrichment Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Hope Network, CHADD National Resource on ADD, Kent RICC: Arc of Kent County, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Kent District Library, Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Network 180.

Disability Advocates will also unveil their their long-awaited Dis.is campaign. The campaign will strive to create a community-wide dialogue about what disability means and how disability--and on the other hand, how 'normal'--is defined.

The Celebrate Ability Picnic will be held July 26th from 4-6PM at the Kentwood Branch of the Kent District Library, located at 4950 Breton Road SE, Kentwood, MI, 49508. Disability Advocates would also like to thank their sponsers for making this event possible: Meijer, Blue Cross Blue Sheild of Michigan, Mary Free Bed, and Care Resources (PACE).

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