Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

October Observance Challenges Houstonians to "Expect, Employ, Empower"
Citizens with Disabilities

September 26, 2014 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker kicked off the City of Houston's 6th Annual “Disability Awareness Month” today at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray.  Joining the mayor for the celebration were Houston City Council Members, community partners, business supporters and members of the disability community.

Slated for the month of October, the national observance raises public awareness of the issues, concerns and contributions of Americans with disabilities. The celebration is of special significance this year, designated as “ADA Legacy Year” in observance of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Enacted by Congress on July 26, 1990, the civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on disability.

"The City of Houston remains committed to the principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Mayor Parker.  "Our goal is to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunities and support to exercise their full rights, pursue meaningful and productive lives and achieve full inclusion in society."

The program featured an opening address and official proclamation of October as "Disability Awareness Month" by Mayor Parker, a keynote speech by Houston City Council Member Brenda Stardig and the presentation of the 2014 Care Awards. The program also featured a preview of the ReelAbilities Film Festival scheduled for February,ADA updates and performances by Andrea Baty, Dionysus Theatre and the We Are People, Too Choir.  The event culminated with a reception in honor of the Care Award recipients and an exhibit highlighting employment practices and initiatives designed to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Numerous programs and activities are scheduled for October centered on this year's theme, Expect, Employ, Empower.  Among scheduled events are a "Walk, Roll, Run" and Mental Health Walk (October 11), "White Cane Safety Day" (October 24) and the Mayor's Disability Awards (October 28).  Participating sponsors include the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), nonprofit organizations, community service agencies and business supporters.

To request a calendar of events, email MOPD at candace.lamb@houstontx.gov.  For information about MOPD programs and services, visit www.houstontx.gov/disabilities.