September 15th marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. September 15, 16 and 18 celebrate independence for at least six of these countries - which is valued and celebrated especially by community members and luminaries with disabilities. Respect Ability shares their robust list of luminaries here - and while it does mention Frida Kahlo, an artist who contracted polio at age 6 and survived a horrific bus accident at 18, taking up painting during her recovery, and leaving an indelible mark on the world - other luminaries include:
Mexican writer and activist Gabriela Brimmer whose life is chronicled in the 1987 film, Gaby: A True Story
Maria Soledad Cisternas - Chilean lawyer and disability activist who was involved with drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and chaired that UN Committee, and served as Special Envoy.
Tony Coelho Congressman from California and primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and celebrated its 31st Anniversary with President Biden.
Eva Middleton of Belize brought disability awareness and justice to her home country of Belize.
Vik Pineda brings activism and advocacy and awareness from his work on the west coast.
Annie Segerra (also known as Annie Elainey) cites Frida Kahlo as a huge influence and has her YouTube channel here
Lizzie Velasquez 's Dare to Be Kind anti-bullying campaign was informed by her lived experience with her peers and online.
ADS closes this invitation to celebrate Hispanic/LatinX heritage with Elizabeth Acevedo's powerful poetry, calling forth beauty within the reach of her words.
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