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DC Government and Partners to Mark 25th of ADA with "End the Awkward" Campaign

June 15, 2015

Contact: Elliot Imse
Director of Policy and Communications
DC Office of Human Rights

DC Government and Partners to Mark 25th Anniversary of ADA with "End the Awkward" Campaign
Businesses, Advocates & Allies Use July 15 Event to Increase Awareness on Disability Issues

Washington, DC (June 15, 2015) – To recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Government of the District of Columbia will sponsor a one-day campaign to share information raising awareness about disability issues. The campaign, entitled “End the Awkward: Focus on the Person, Not the Disability,” will take place on July 15th and include the participation of numerous government agencies, community organizations, businesses and members of the public.

Participants will wear “End the Awkward: Ask Me How” pins, prompting questions that are responded to with information on how to act respectfully toward people with disabilities without being awkward. Registration for businesses and members of the public opens today and is free at

“The Bowser Administration is asking District businesses, people with disabilities and their allies to participate so we can educate as many residents and visitors about interacting with persons with disabilities,” said OHR Director Mónica Palacio. “Participants in our event do not need to be experts on disability rights issues, but they do need to answer questions in respectful ways. If you manage a business or simply live in or work in DC, I encourage you to sign up on our website and we’ll send you a participant package with everything you need.” 

The “End the Awkward” initiative is part of the Bowser Administration’s efforts to strengthen connections between residents, regardless of who they are, where they live or where they’re from.

Businesses and members of the public who register by July 8 will be sent an “End the Awkward” participant package that includes colorful “End the Awkward” pins, quick talking points for responding to questions, and additional information about the event. Participants are encouraged to promote the event and their interactions throughout the day on social media using #EndTheAwkwardDC. Members of the public can register online at and businesses at

Learn more about the event, view the “End the Awkward” pin, and read a sample talking point at


About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.

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