A coalition of leading national disability advocacy groups has united to host the first-ever [removed]Disability Power & Pride Inaugural Ball [/removed]scheduled on January 18 at the National Press Club, Washington. Setting aside individual agendas, the disability community will celebrate the historic presidency and the promise of the new administration to reduce stigma and maximize opportunities for all Americans to participate fully in our nation’s democracy.
In recognition of our nation’s brave military, many of whom have experienced significant injuries resulting in disability, ball organizers are sponsoring a number of combat veterans from Walter Reed Medical Center as honored guests.
"There are more than 54 million Americans with disabilities, but we have been largely absent from politics," said former Congressman Tony Coelho, chairman of the ball planning committee and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  "With this event, we say, ‘no more.’ Just like any other civil rights group, we are proud of our ability to organize, fundraise, participate in this wonderful society, and above all—celebrate the hope that President-elect Barack Obama brings to our country."
This fully-accessible inaugural ball will be hosted by a cadre of leading disability advocacy groups, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Coalition for Disability Rights, National Council on Independent Living, United Cerebral Palsy, the AbilityOne Program, and others.
"The enactment of the ADA gave people with disabilities important legal rights, but that was just the beginning," Coelho said. "As our strength becomes more widely recognized—both in size and purchasing power—we can begin to accomplish great things, legislatively and otherwise."

[Source: PR Newswire]