The Arc of Monroe Celebrates Disability Pride Month

Advocacy, Programs and Services

Every July, millions of Americans celebrate Disability Pride Month. The celebration began in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated Disability Pride Month with parades and other festivities. [1]

Disability Pride Month is an opportunity for the disability community to celebrate its visibility and highlight accomplishments in a collective way. At The Arc of Monroe, everything we do is centered around empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in a myriad of ways. The month of July just helps us shine a brighter spotlight on the people we support as we celebrate with others across the country. Our hope is that people in our community would begin to advocate for more inclusion of people with IDD, help create accessible environments, and assist in forming equitable opportunities for people with disabilities who hold – or want to hold – roles similar to their non-disabled peers.

The Arc of Monroe is fortunate to work with dozens of local businesses and partner with hundreds of people across Monroe County who continually work hard to make Rochester an inclusive, accessible place to live, work, and play. All year, we highlight these incredible partners through social media, blogs, awards, and more. Check out just a few of our recent highlights:

Our mission at The Arc of Monroe is to advocate for the people who don’t always have a voice in society and create opportunities for them to gain visibility. This is why advocacy remains at the top of our priority list in supporting people with IDD. We do that, in part, by meeting with individual government representatives, hosting self advocacy meetings monthly, and keeping our community informed of disability issues.

One of our most recent endeavors to elevate disability voices is through our Supporting Safe Spaces training that will be given across not just the Rochester region, but throughout New York State. Our own advocacy champion, Brian Potvin, created and now administers a supporting safe spaces and train-the-trainer curriculum that assists organizations with creating welcoming environments for people with disabilities who also identify as LGBTQIA+. Brian’s years of experience leading Roc PrideAbility and working at The Arc of Monroe has uniquely equipped him to administer this training and pave the way for others to create safe spaces.

The Arc of Monroe continues to create opportunities to support people with IDD and elevate their voices throughout the community. We invite you to join us in creating more accessible, inclusive places right where you are. Thank you for your partnership and helping us shine a light on Disability Pride this month and every month.


Are you interested in joining a growing team that supports people with disabilities across Monroe County? Consider working at The Arc of Monroe! Check out our careers page to learn more about open positions, sign-on bonuses, and more.