Disability Pride month celebration slated Tuesday in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Disability Pride month celebration slated Tuesday in Glenwood Springs

Un artista de Challenge Aspen toca la batería durante The Greatest Showman en The Performing Arts Center en Willits el viernes. A Challenge Aspen performer drums during The Greatest Showman at The Performing Arts Center at Willits on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
If you go…

What: Disability Pride Month and Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary celebration

Where: Two Rivers Park, 740 Devereux Road, Glenwood Springs

When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday

July is disability pride month, and Glenwood Springs is celebrating with its first celebration on the Tuesday anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This is an opportunity for us to really highlight the community and show that we are here to support you,” said Kaleb Cook, therapeutic and recreation supervisor for Glenwood Springs. “We are here to hear your voices. And we’re here to make changes to make positive impacts to better support you within our community.” 

This year marks 32 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was first passed by Congress and signed into law by then-President George H. W. Bush. The act was created after years of advocacy, protesting, lobbying, filing lawsuits and speaking out to be seen as equals free from discrimination.  

“A big focus is getting as many resources out there for individuals living in their communities that have disabilities and their families,” Cook said.

There will be live music and other events from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, with many vendors and guests including Arc of the Central Mountains with members and team members speaking for the event. There will be American Sign Language and Spanish language interpreting services available.

The Glenwood Springs Community Center will also be demonstrating how the therapeutic recreation program operates.

Challenge Aspen will be there to demo adaptive skis for anyone interested, and Ascendigo Autism Services will be there to demo adaptive whitewater kayaking, rock climbing and rope tie. 

Mountain Valley Developmental Services will have a plant sale representing their greenhouse, which is run by people with disabilities. Art on 8th, a weaving shop that employs people with disabilities, and Smiling Goat Ranch, a nature inspired therapy center, will also be participating.

“Not only are we here to celebrate the ADA, we’re also here to kind of gather and figure out the needs of the community members living with disabilities, and their perceptions of what their life has been in relation to accessibility,” Cook said.

An actress with Challenge Aspen performs during The Greatest Showman at The Performance Arts Center at Willits on Friday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Garfield County Public Health is currently developing an accessibility survey for the Roaring Fork Valley.

“The goal is to get as many community members as possible completing that survey so we can better understand the needs, wants and wishes of our disability community,” Cook said.

Once the survey is complete, nonprofits throughout the region will come together to help identify how to make the valley more accessible to people with disabilities — and to craft a unified vision to better support them, Cook said.

One popular speaker Tuesday will be Corey Mineo, who is the board president for The Arc and a Glenwood Springs local who has brought a great amount of awareness to the Roaring Fork Valley about access for those with physical disability. 

“He’s here to really share his experience and as the person with the lived experience with a physical disability,” Cook said. “He really wants to elevate his voice so people can really understand the needs and the struggles that he encounters within the Roaring Fork Valley.”

Kara Brouhard is an advocate for independence for people with more severe disabilities and has been a longtime advocate for accessibility here in Glenwood Springs. 

Both Mineo and Brouhard will talk about their personal experiences, along with autistic children in the valley about their experiences within the school system.

Sara Sims, the executive director for Mountain Valley Developmental Services, and Maribel Obreque, the director of family services for Arc, will also be speakers at Tuesday’s celebration. 

“Kaleb started to do a really good job of starting to build community with our community members with disabilities,” said Bryana Starbuck Glenwood Spring public information officer.

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