March, 2024
Being a Disability Ally, Women’s History Month, and More!
As we go into Autism Acceptance Month and National Deaf History Month (both in April), Alliance of Disability Advocates wants to take this opportunity to discuss how to be a good ally to disabled people during these celebrations. Continue reading to see an article written on the topic by a staff member.
Women’s History Month
March has been a celebration of Women’s History Month across the country, which makes it a great time to highlight important women in the disability rights movement. While it is impossible to mention every influential disabled woman, it is important to highlight the perspectives of people with these intersecting identities.
SheKnows | Melissa Young
March 8, 2023

National Partnership for Women & Families | Marissa Ditkowsky
September 11, 2023
Comments Needed for Proposed Airline Travel Rule
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking public comments on a new proposed rule designed to ensure airline passengers who use wheelchairs can travel safely and with dignity. 

As stated in a press release from DOT: “The proposed rule would require that airlines meet rigorous standards for accommodating passengers with disabilities safely and with dignity. The proposal will set new standards for prompt, safe, and dignified assistance, mandate enhanced training for airline employees and contractors who physically assist passengers with disabilities and handle passengers’ wheelchairs and specify actions that airlines must take to protect passengers when a wheelchair is damaged during transport. Notably, the proposed rule also would make it easier for DOT to hold airlines accountable when they damage or delay the return of a wheelchair by making it an automatic violation of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) to mishandle wheelchairs.”

Read the DOTs press release to learn more about the proposed rule.

Find information on how to submit comments here. Comments can be submitted online, by mail or fax, or hand-delivered in Washington DC.

Comments should be submitted by May 13, 2024.

Current Happenings in the Disability World

How to be a Good Ally to Disabled People
by Emily Kibler | March 27, 2024
What is an Ally?
An ally is a person who supports the rights of a marginalized group without being a member of the group. This includes family, friends, and any other individual who devotes their time and efforts to understanding and promoting the experiences of people in the group.

While there are allies for all marginalized identities, there are differences in the ways that communities interact with those who support them.
Educate and Re-educate Yourself
The first step to becoming a good ally for any community is to educate yourself about the struggles and barriers that the community faces. Often, the best way to do this is to learn from those around you who are a part of this community. While it isn’t recommended to ask unsolicited personal questions, you might be surprised how much you can learn by actively listening to disabled people and asking relevant follow-up questions.

The disability community is very vast and contains several subcommunities (physical disability, neurodiversity, mental illness, developmental disability, and many more), so allies, as well as people within the community, need to learn from people across disability categories. It is a mistake to assume that the concerns of one group are the same as another.

Because the community is diverse and perceptions are often changing, education is a continuous process. This may seem daunting, but the silver lining is that no one is an expert and everyone has something to learn. As long as you keep an open mind and listen more than you speak, you will always be moving in the right direction.
Being an Ally as a Parent or Family Member
Parents, children, and other family members have an important place as allies to the disability community. Often, family members are aware of the barriers that their loved one has faced and have had to fight for their rights. This unique perspective can be very productive for promoting disability rights; however, it can also be detrimental.

As with all other allies, the expectation is for those without disabilities to amplify the voices of those who can communicate for themselves. This may be difficult for family members as they may feel like they have first-hand experience; however, it is impossible to fully understand what it is like to be disabled without lived experience.

There is one caveat to this statement and that is for parents of disabled individuals who cannot communicate for themselves (note: that this does not include individuals who may not be able to speak but have found other ways to communicate). While these parents may not be a part of the community and are still asked to recognize their privilege, they are encouraged to share the barriers faced by their children.
Takeaways and Resources
Learning to be the best ally you can be is a process and it is normal to make mistakes. As long as you listen to and learn from people with lived experience and keep your mind open to new perspectives, you will be on track.

Remember that as an ally, you are a guest in the community. You are welcome to be part of conversations related to the welfare of disabled people but remember that your perspective is second to those with lived experience.

To read a more in-depth discussion about allyship in the disability community, please check out the articles below!
How to be a Good Disability Ally
Life of a Blind Girl | July 17, 2022

Amplifying Their Voice by Lowering Ours: What it Means to be a Disability Ally
NACCHO | Joseline Raja Vora | May 14, 2021

How to Be a Good Ally to Disabled People
World Institute on Disability | Drew Dakessian | May 12, 2023

What is an Ally?
Autistic Self Advocacy Network | Kassiane S. | Oct 4, 2012

How to Be an Ally of the Neurodiversity Movement
DO-IT | Erik Trekell

Check out the Alliance of Disability Advocates Resources Page to learn more about specific topics related to the disability community

"Disability is not something an individual overcomes. I'm still disabled. I'm still Deafblind. People with disabilities are successful when we develop alternative techniques and our communities choose inclusion."

― Haben Girma: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

Want to Join our Board?
Alliance of Disability Advocates is looking for individuals to join our Board of Directors. See more information and learn how to apply on our website at https://adanc.org/about-us/board/
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What We're Reading

by ASAN | Mar 28, 2024
Very little money donated to Autism Speaks goes toward helping autistic people and families. Less than 1/3 of 1% of Autism Speaks’ budget goes towards the “Family Service” grants that are the organization’s means of funding services. Autism Speaks spends more than 50x…
by Michelle Diament | Mar 26, 2024
More than two years after a ban was blocked in court, federal regulators are seeking to stop the use of devices that administer electric shocks to address behavior issues in people with developmental disabilities. The Food and…
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Past Newsletters

March 2024 – Being a Disability Ally, Women’s History Month, and More!
February 2024 – Supporting Black Disabled Individuals this Black History Month
January 2024 – Looking Forward to 2024
December 2023 – Happy Holidays from ADA!
November 2023 – Join Us at Our Greenville Open House
October 2023 – Grand Opening and Other Events for ADA Coming Soon!
September 2023 – Section 504 Anniversary and Updates, Getting Involved with ADA, and more!
August 2023 – Exciting Updates, Changes with Voting, and Staying Safe
July 2023 – Disability Pride Month Events and FAQs
June 2023 – Medicaid Changes, Pride Month, and Staying Connected
May 2023 – Mental Health Awareness Month, Casino Night, and More!
April 2023 – Casino Night, Autism Acceptance Month, and More!
March 2023 – ADANC’s Newsletter is back
June 2022 – Alliance Success Stories | Looking Back at Olmstead | and More!
May 2022 – Alliance Success Stories | Hurricane Season Guide | Casino Night Recap and More!
April 2022 – Alliance Success Stories | The Impact of Your Support | Resource of the Month and More!
March 2022 – Alliance Success Stories | Casino Night – Pre Order Tickets Now! | Resource of the Month and More!
February 2022 – Alliance Success Stories | Casino Night – Pre Order Tickets Now! | NCCDD Self-Advocate Series and More
January 2022 – Ed Roberts and the IL Movement | Casino Night – Pre Order Tickets Now! | Hear From our Board Member, and More
December 2021 – Happy Holidays From ADANC! | Consumer Success Stories, New Board Officers and More!
Newsletter 2021 – Support Alliance of Disability Advocates this Giving Tuesday! | Consumer Success Stories and More!
October 2021 – Don’t Miss This Consumer Success Story | Disability Employment Awareness Month | and More!
September 2021 – Peer Support during the Pandemic, COVID-19 Booster Shot Updates, and More
August 2021 – Peak Hurricane Season! Success Stories and More
July 2021 – Celebrating Disability Pride Month with Alliance of Disability Advocates!
June 2021 – Consumers Talk Travel Training! Community Living Success, COVID-19 Vaccine Info and More
May 2021 – Hold Up Those Keys! Housing Success Stories, NCYLF, COVID Resources & More!
April 2021 – Carolina Sled Hockey 2021 SESHL Champs!, Housing Success and More!
March 2021 – Carolina Sled Hockey Heads to the Championship, Peer Support Success and More!
February 2021 – ADANC – Check Out Autism Grown Up, and More!
January 2021 – Happy New Year From ADANC!
December 2020 – ADANC Celebrates YOU This Holiday!
November 2020 – Travel Training, Peer Support, and More!
October 2020 – Enabling Art: Celebrating 30 Years of the ADA
September 2020 – Join Us for Enabling Art – A Virtual Celebration
August 2020 – Travel Training, Overcoming Challenges, Board Spotlight and More!
July 2020 – This Month, We Celebrate 30 Years of Progress
June 2020 – ADANC News: Casino Night 10/9 – Pre-Order Today!
May 2020 – Consumer Success, Casino Night, and More!
April 2020 – Stay Home, Stay Connected – ADANC News
March 2020 – COVID-19 Health Tips, Resiliency, and More
February 2020 – Sharing Success – See What ADANC is About!
January 2020 – ADA 2020 Newsletter