20th Anniversary of ADA Culminates with Disability Pride Parade, Downtown Chicago, July 24, First and Largest in the Nation

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An estimated 5,000 people, floats, and vehicles representing a wide variety of disability and other organizations will march and roll in the 7th Annual Disability Pride, "Pride Revolution," in Chicago’s Loop on Saturday, July 24. A post-parade program at Daley Plaza features entertainers and speakers with disabilities, including Momenta Wheelchair Dance Troupe, Blind Blues Musician Willie Williams, and activist and author Eli Clare. For more information, go to http://www.disabilityprideparade.org

An estimated 5,000 people, floats, and vehicles representing a wide variety of disability and other organizations will march and roll in the 7th Annual Disability Pride in Chicago’s Loop on Saturday, July 24. This year’s parade tops off a series of celebrations on the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1990.

The Chicago parade is the first and largest parade of its kind in the nation – a celebration of pride for people with disabilities. The 2010 theme is Pride Revolution.

“Pride refuses to let the daily grind of discrimination, exclusion, violence, and patronizing define who we are, says Eli Clare, 2010 Grand Marshal and author of Exile and Pride. “Disability Pride calls for celebration, hope, and rebellion. We take shame, fear, and isolation, turn them around, and forge wholeness.”

Step-off will be 11 a.m. at Plymouth Court and Van Buren Street. The parade will then make its way west to Dearborn Avenue, then north on Dearborn to Washington Street and Daley Plaza (50W. Washington St.).

The Disability Pride Parade started in Chicago in It has spawned similar parades in California, Georgia, and Norway. The parade was established to change the way people think about and define “disability,” to break down and end the internalized shame among people with disabilities, and to promote the belief in society that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride.

Post-parade festivities begin at noon at Daley Plaza will feature sponsor tents and a main
stage with Accessible Transportation Advocate Kevin Irvine as emcee. Confirmed performers/ speakers (many of whom are people with disabilities) are: Jesse White Tumblers, Momenta
Wheelchair Dance Troupe, Matrix Puppet Theatre Company, Blind Blues Musician Willie Williams,
Praetorium Signing Church, Collective Sole, Violinist Nura Aly, Equip for Equality Singers, and Rene David Luna. You can learn more about the performers at http://disabilityprideparade.org/media.php.

The 7th Annual Disability Pride Parade is sponsored by the Illinois Network of Centers for
Independent Living (INCIL), AT&T, SEIU Healthcare of IL/IN, Access Living, Lake County CIL, Equip for Equality, DBTAC-Great Lakes ADA Center, Integrated Facilities Solutions, Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, ACLU of Illinois, Second Unitarian Universalist Church, SCR Medical Transport, UIC Dept of Disability and Human Development, UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of People with Disabilities, and the Anixter Center.

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