Light up with pride

Key disability events are coming up. Celebrate on June 22 and beyond. This year is the 25th anniversary of the […]

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Key disability events are coming up.

Celebrate on June 22 and beyond. This year is the 25th anniversary of the 1999 Supreme Court Decision Olmstead v. L.C. 25 years ago, when Elaine Wilson and Lois Curtis advocated for – and won – their rights. The women also reaffirmed the rights of disabled Americans everywhere, including people for generations to come.

The right to live in the most integrated setting possible is tied to so many important pieces of federal and state legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Had we not had the ADA in place at the time the women’s lawsuit was filed, one wonders if there would have been any change at all.

The Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis will be lit to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Olmstead decision. The bridge will be lit on Saturday, June 22starting a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunrise. It will be lit in the colors of the disability pride flag. The Olmstead Implementation Office will share a photo of the lit up bridge on our website, social media, and newsletter. Visit

The colors of the disability pride flag are:

  • Black is to mourn and honor people with disabilities who have died.
  • Green is for sensory disabilities.
  • Blue represents emotional and psychiatric disabilities.
  • White stands for non-visible and undiagnosed disabilities.
  • Gold is for neurodiversity.
  • Red represents physical disabilities.

The bridge lightings for special events are always great to see, even if you cannot be there in person.

Then at noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, there is the opportunity to attend the Olmstead Day Celebration to commemorate disability advocacy. Attend and hear Colleen Wieck of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities speak about the long history of disability advocacy that brought us to today. David Dively of the Minnesota Council on Disability will share about how disability advocacy continues to shape life today. Self-advocate Brittanie Hernandez-Wilson will discuss the future of disability advocacy.

All three speakers will share insights on the past, present and future of disability advocacy in a panel discussion.

The event is free and online. But you need to preregister. It only takes a minute or two, and you’re set. You can also send in questions for the panel.


And here’s today’s bit of trivia. We get asked if the landmark case has ties to Minnesota. That’s a no. Our county is Olmsted, not Olmstead. The case namesake was Tommy Olmstead, a Georgia state official.

In 1855, Minnesota’s territorial legislature created Olmsted County. It is named after David Olmsted. He was the first mayor of St. Paul but was never a resident of the county named for him.

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