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René Pellerin to Perform at ADA Celebration

MONTPELIER – The 21st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act will be celebrated on the Statehouse lawn July 21 from noon to 5 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “We Are Vermont.”

Keynote speaker will be Vermont storyteller and comedian René Pellerin. Long recognized by his Deaf peers as an amazing entertainer, Pellerin has dedicated his professional life to the Deaf community. He has been instrumental in the passage of laws supporting the needs of members of the Deaf community and sign language interpreters throughout the state.

Green Mountain Transit Agency will offer free transportation to and from the ADA celebration on their Montpelier/Barre Commuter and Mid Day Service as well as the Barre and Hospital Hill routes. People requesting deviations will have to pay the usual fare. When boarding the bus simply tell the driver that you are going to or returning from the ADA celebration at the Statehouse.

The ADA celebration will include a community dance. The Inaccessibles, VCIL’s house band for inclusive dance tunes, will be rocking a variety of classic rock songs beginning at 2 p.m. The event will also include a free picnic lunch and the presentation of the 6th Annual Deborah Lisi-Baker Leader of Tomorrow Award. Master of ceremonies will be Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council Executive Director Peter Kriff. A variety of local, state and federal dignitaries are expected to attend.

As is customary, VCIL is sponsoring the celebration. Co-sponsors include Disability Rights Vermont, the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Vermont Workers’ Center, the Vermont Human Rights Commission, the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council, Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, VocRehab Vermont and Sorenson Communications. A number of local businesses and organizations have donated food and raffle prizes for the event.

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 with an eye toward preventing discrimination, in all aspects of society, against people with disabilities. President George H.W. Bush signed the act into law, proclaiming, “Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”

ASL interpreters will be available. For more information, please contact Ericka at ericka@vcil.org or 229-0501 or 1-800-639-1522.