More Turn Out Than Expected At First Disability Pride
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 20, 2004
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--The organizers of Sunday's First International Disability Pride Parade had expected about 500 people with disabilities to show up to participate.
They were wrong.
An estimated 650 people from 60 different disability groups rolled, walked or rode down Chicago's Solidarity Drive to show that having a disability is nothing to be ashamed of.
"We're trying to unite all people with all different kinds of disabilities to send a message that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity," parade co-organizer Sarah Triano told the Chicago Sun-Times.
"We don't need to be cured," she said. "We don't need to be fixed. We are whole human beings just the way we are."
The hour-long parade was followed by a rally at Soldier Field Green.
In organizing the parade, Triano partnered with The Nth Degree's Dan Wilkins, and brought seed money from part of a $10,000 prize from the 2002 American Association of People With Disabilities Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award.
"These are young people who are passionate about owning the fact that they have a disability," explained Andrew Imparato, president of AAPD. "I'm hoping this is the beginning of a natural phenomenon where Chicago is the anchor."
Triano and other event organizers worked with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities for what they hope will become an annual event.
Disabled And Proud