ANNAPOLIS, MD—At an event today to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Governor Larry Hogan enacted an executive order declaring that the State of Maryland will annually celebrate July as Disability Culture and Achievements Month. Throughout July, the state will celebrate the societal achievements and cultural contributions of Marylanders with disabilities.
“Today, the State of Maryland is taking another step forward to ensure that all of our citizens are confident in their ability to contribute to their communities and assured that those contributions are valued by all,” said Governor Hogan. “Every July, we will promote and enhance events and activities all across the state focused on disability pride, culture, and contributions to society.”
During today’s event, the governor honored U.S. Paralympian Becca Meyers, who announced last week that she was withdrawing from the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo because the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee would not allow her to bring her own personal care assistant. Meyers is a six-time Paralympic medalist.
“Becca deserved to be able to compete, and while we are all so disappointed for her, we are unbelievably proud of Becca for having the courage to speak up and speak out against this injustice,” said Governor Hogan. “Becca, you are an inspiration to so many people—including me.” Maryland is the only state in the nation with a cabinet-level department focused on cross-disability policy. The Department of Disabilities provides advocacy and guidance to ensure that state entities deliver services in the most integrated settings possible, develop consistent policies affecting those with disabilities, and consider the diverse needs of all when making decisions that impact Marylanders.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a landmark civil rights law that reaffirms our nation’s founding ideal of equality for all by increasing access and opportunity for people with disabilities across all aspects of community life.