MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — This July is the 32nd annual celebration of Disability Pride Month.

The month commemorates the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990.

Disability Pride Month is held every July as a way for people with disabilities to have pride in who they are.

“Far too often people with disabilities are excluded from society. We’re not employed at the same rate. We don’t necessarily get healthcare at the same rate. We don’t have as many social opportunities. And when you can just accept who you are, you can begin to introduce yourself to so many more opportunities. If you have disability pride, you’re okay asking your boss for an accommodation. If you have disability pride, you can explain it to your friends without begin afraid of who you are,” said Scott Burlingame, the executive director of Independence, Inc.

Independence, Inc. helps people with disabilities live independently.

Personally, Burlingame can relate to so many in this community, he has a learning disability and says he used to be ashamed of having it.

“When I was in high school, I was pretty ashamed of who I was. And as bad as it sounds, I was pretty convinced that it was better to be dumb than it was to have a disability. Once I became comfortable with who I am, and I could get the accommodations that I needed, I realized how much easier life was. I became a better student. And I think I became a better person,” said Burlingame.

If someone has a disability and they feel how he once felt, he tries to help them.

He says they should have no shame because it’s natural.

“You’re okay the way you are. Disability is a natural part of being human. Disability is natural. When you can accept it, good things can happen to you and you can live a full, healthy and productive life,” said Burlingame.

People with and without disabilities can all celebrate Disability Pride Month by watching movies and reading books with characters that have disabilities; celebrating diversity in every way you can will help.

“Most of us will talk about our disabilities if you ask us to and if you’re kind. It’s nothing for you to be ashamed of to have questions and there’s nothing for us to be ashamed of to explain who we are,” says Burlingame.

Burlingame says it’s all about being accepting and learning from those around you.

On August 9, Independence, Inc will be having a picnic to celebrate another year of serving the community.