Every July, we celebrate Disability Pride Month to commemorate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed into law on July 26, 1990. Disability Pride is an important movement that aims to promote self-acceptance, equality, and emphasizes the value and uniqueness of individuals with disabilities. It recognizes that disability is a natural part of human diversity; it's not always visible and should be embraced rather than stigmatized.
“I have Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with kidney disease," said Monica Acevedo, Human Assistance Specialist with Sacramento County. “I am in a constant state of pain and concern for my future life and the ability to continue with my normal daily tasks. I would like people to know that all disabilities are not visible to the eye." In Sacramento County, a group of volunteers with disabilities are taking part in the Disability Advisory Commission (DAC), which advises the Board of Supervisors and other County decision-makers regarding the needs of people with disabilities in all County programs, services, and facilities. They regularly engage with County officials to make recommendations on enhancing accessibility in both existing programs and new developments.
Recent examples of their work include:
- Voting Centers - ensuring ballot drop locations and ballot information are accessible
- Sacramento International Airport – the addition of charging stations for electronic mobility devices, and navigational tools for people who are blind or have low vision
- Department of Transportation's Active Transportation Plan – recommending and ensuring the needs of people with disabilities were included in the plan
- Behavioral Health Cultural Competence Plan and Community Wellness Resource Team – reviewed policies and procedures and made recommendations to enhance opportunities for people with disabilities in Mental Health services
- County web pages and other digital and electronic communication – Made recommendations to the Department of Technology (DTECH) that resulted in hiring additional staff to focus on County website accessibility
- Safe Stay and other County homeless services – evaluated the accessibility of the Safe Stay sites and service delivery
- EmPOWERment Park and Gibson Ranch Sensory Trail, playgrounds in development that are designed for children with disabilities
The DAC also collaborates with other Boards and Commissions, such as the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board, Mental Health Board, Children's Coalition, Public Health Advisory Board, and the Adult and Aging Commission, through their participation in the Human Services Coordinating Council.
“The DAC appreciates the opportunity to represent the disability community, and the County's willingness to engage with us to address access barriers in County services and facilities," said Randy Hicks, DAC Chair.
In addition to the DAC, The Department of Personnel Services (DPS) Disability Compliance Office (DCO) serves as a resource for County employees and the public who have questions about disability compliance or have a request for accommodation in order to make County services more accessible. The DCO can be contacted by phone at (916) 874-7642 or by email at email@example.com. Information is also available on the Disability Compliance Office (DCO) website.
If you would like to learn more about the Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) or would like to join, please visit the DAC Membership site.