- Department of Developmental Services
DDS Celebrates Disability Pride
A Message from Commissioner Jane F. Ryder
Dear DDS Community,
July marks a time for plenty of celebrations. While I enjoy cookouts and 4th of July, there’s no competition – my favorite celebration is Disability Pride Month.
33 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. In honor of the ADA, every July we recognize all people with disabilities by promoting visibility, honoring their rights, and applauding their achievements.
To celebrate Disability Pride, I hope you will join me in celebrating the successes of people with disabilities here in Massachusetts. Recently, I have been moved by the perseverance of INspire Café’s employees. When Bitty and Beau’s Coffee Shop in Melrose closed, individuals with disabilities lost their jobs.
Rather than letting that stop them, they started Inspire Café, a pop-up slushie stand. Now the proceeds of that stand are going towards a new shop to employ individuals with disabilities – and their work is also showing their community the importance of inclusion. Watch their story on WCVB.
Stories like these demonstrate how far we have come since the ADA was passed.
Reflecting on the way our DDS services have also evolved in that time – from our supported employment and supportive technology that increase independence, our focus on meaningful community integration in service plans, and centering the people receiving services in all conversations and ensuring they have a seat at the table where decisions are made – it makes me excited to see how we will grow in the years to come.
Commissioner Jane F. Ryder
Read the DDS July 2023 Newsletter
Read more from DDS in our July 2023 newsletter: https://conta.cc/44XP0rG