Posted by Annie Toth, member of the JF&CS Diversity & Inclusion Committee

National Disability Independence Day is celebrated each year on July 26. This day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. The ADA provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities.


  • Musician, singer, and songwriter Stevie Wonder was born blind. Considered a child prodigy, Stevie signed with his first record label at age 11, and he's been performing since.
  • Injured in a trolley accident when she was a teenager and forced into bed rest for several months to heal a broken back, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is one of the most well-known artists with disabilities of the 20th century. She is known for her self-portraits, many of which portrayed her in her wheelchair.
  • Until the age of 3, Albert Einstein could not speak and was severely dyslexic and autistic. As he grew older he started to focus on the only thing he was exceptional at: math. His theory of relativity is said to be the most revolutionary theory of physics and he won a Nobel Prize for his photoelectric effect theory in 1921.
  • By his late 20's, famous composer Beethoven's hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost completely deaf. Many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life including the Ninth Symphony which was completed after he lost all of his hearing.

Interested in services for people with disabilities? JF&CS CHAI Services provide support, strategies, and solutions that strengthen individuals and families, build community connections, and enhance independence. We offer special expertise in addressing the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and autism spectrum disorder, while providing services that are inclusive of people with a wide range of strengths and needs.