Monthly Archives: June 2016

Disability Community Celebrates Diversity

Posted by Adam Johnsen on June 28, 2016
Uncategorized / No Comments

On July 26, 2016, ADA Celebration Committee and the disability community celebrate the 26th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. An event that day at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, will bring together the rich variety of communities, ethnicities and identities that make up the disability community.

Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. in the 3M Auditorium with keynote address by Ken Rodgers, chair of the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, followed by a panel discussion on the joys and challenges of living with a disability in a culturally diverse community. Panelists include Carlos Vazquez, SMG; Mai Thor, Metropolitan Council; Char Coal, artist and disability advocate; and Fardowsa Ali, Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community. Kenneth Brown, a disability and civil rights advocate, will moderate the panel that will conclude at 5:00.

“9 Nights of Music”, a popular MN History Center series, now in its 19th year, presents Minnesota’s multi-cultural artists at free outdoor performances. “9 Nights of Music” is thrilled that Angelique Lele, 2015 Miss Wheelchair Minnesota, and Young Dance will perform and provide dance instruction for the assembled audience of all abilities. Performance and lessons start at 6:30 p.m. Lele is a yoga teacher, actor and dancer, who landed in a wheelchair after a trapeze accident in 2012. She continues to perform in the world of integrative dance. Young Dance brings together youth of all abilities with professional artists to forge an inclusive, creative community. The dance performance will be followed at 7:00 p.m. by Tamarak, a driving, no-holds-barred, classic rock-n-roll band, whose drummer Curt Jones, is blind. The night’s festivities end at 8:30. For more information on the “9 Nights of Music” visit

The event is free and open to the public. ASL interpreters, audio description and CART captioning will be provided. Food will be available for purchase. Go to for more information or to request accommodations by July 12, or call the Minnesota Council on Disability, 651-361-7800, toll-free 1-800-945-8913.

The ADA celebration is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, in addition to partnerships with AMPERS, the Minnesota History Center, and 15 disability organizations and state agencies.

The ADA establishes protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided in the Civil Rights Act on the basis of race, sex, national origin, age, and religion; and ensures equal opportunity for access to businesses, employment, government programs and services, and telecommunications.

The ADA celebration is made possible in part by a grant from the Art and Cultural Heritage Fund. The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.