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Biden’s First Day as President Includes People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., January 20 – After unprecedented outreach to the disability community during the campaign, President-elect Joe Biden and his team are continuing to include people with disabilities as they take office this afternoon.

One of Biden’s day one executive actions is to “Launch a Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity.” According to the team, “The president-elect’s equity agenda is grounded in advancing racial justice and building back better for communities who have been underserved, including people of color and Americans with disabilities, LGBTQ+ Americans, religious minorities, and rural and urban communities facing persistent poverty.”

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is presenting today’s inauguration with live captions, ASL picture in picture, audio description, and other accessibility features on YouTube. Use the links below to watch the ceremony and primetime program.

The Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (January 20)

Featuring: Swearing-In Ceremony, Pass In Review, Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony, Presidential Escort, Parade Across America

Celebrating America: Primetime Program (January 20 at 8:30 pm ET)

An email detailing disability inclusion throughout the inaugural event schedule was sent out early this morning. RespectAbility is publishing the email in its entirety below.

Thank you for all of your hard work that brought us to Inauguration Day. The disability community really showed up in 2020 to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris!

To participate virtually in the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 please visit, which includes a schedule of events, ways to watch and information and links for accessibility.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) recognizes our community’s support and has worked to reflect it in our inaugural celebratory events. Below is a top line list of Americans with disabilities represented in PIC and related allied partner events and an invite to the Signs of Change Virtual Inaugural Ball on Wednesday night.

Disabled principals listed by event in chronological order.

America United: An Inauguration Welcome Event Celebrating America’s Changemakers 1/16/2021:  The Presidential Inaugural Committee is hosting a welcome event to celebrate America, reflect and honor our history, and highlight the incredible diversity of the nation. This event featured Nina G, a disabled comedian and author who explores her life with a stuttering disability and Dyslexia for audiences.

We The People Concert 1/17/2021: A first-of-its-kind virtual inaugural concert that supported this historic moment in our country’s history with singer and actress Cher who lives openly with learning disabilities and advocates for people living with craniofacial disorder.

National Coalition of Delegates Inaugural Ball 1/17/2021: This inaugural related event brought together 2020 Democratic National Convention Delegates to celebrate their part in winning back the White House. It was started off by words of wisdom from Americans with Disabilities Act principal author Congressman Tony Coelho (retired) who lives with Epilepsy and has made his life-long ministry a campaign to break barriers for disabled persons.

United We Serve: A Celebration of the MLK Day of Service 1/18/2021: The Presidential Inaugural Committee partnered with local, state, and national organizations on service events for the National Day of Service on January 18, 2021. This post event round up in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris featured Senator Tammy Duckworth.  

We Are One 1/19/2021: The Presidential Inaugural Committee hosted an evening celebration to honor the Black Community and African Diaspora, which featured Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the NBA star athlete and AIDS advocate living with HIV.

AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers: In partnership with IMPACT and RUN AAPI, PIC joined an Inaugural Ball celebrating the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the multitude of contributions they make to our nation. Mia Ives Rublee, Women’s March on Washington Disability Caucus founder, represented the intersections between the disability, AAPI and immigrant communities and the priorities that bind us into a collaborative movement for justice.

Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise: The Hispanic Federation over 50 co-host organizations, and actor with a learning disability Edward James Olmos joined together in an Inaugural tribute to tell the story of Latinos’ contributions to our nation through song and word.

Swearing In Ceremony: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building, but not before they are kicked off with the National Anthem sung by superstar Lady Gaga who is outspoken about living with fibromyalgia.

Parade Across America: This televised for the American people features diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country including a troupe of dancers from the down syndrome community and the Ryan Martin Foundation Wheelchair Basketball League joined by players from the WNBA and NBA.

Signs of Change Inaugural Ball: This Deaf community inauguration ball will be a celebration event welcoming the new administration, reflecting positive successes over the past year for the deaf community, with a central theme focusing on civic engagement and education featuring Deaf and LGBTQ  model and reality show actor and winner of both America’s Next Top Modeland  Dancing With The Stars Nyle DiMarco . 

Celebrating America Prime Time Special: Hosted by Tom Hanks, this 90-minute prime-time program will feature remarks from President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and include remarks and performances that represent the rich diversity and extensive talent America offers. This pinnacle inaugural event will feature Brayden Harrington, who came to be known as a youth being personally mentored by Joe Biden to break barriers caused by the stuttering disability they both share during the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Together this group of advocates, celebrities and everyday persons with disabilities demonstrated cross-disability diversity and the intersections of disability within the women’s, African American, Latino, AAPI, youth, LGBTQ+, immigrant and veterans and military families communities.

Virtual Inaugural Ball Invitation
Don’t miss an opportunity to join some Deaf and disability community fellowship to celebrate Inauguration Day January 20, 2021, please join Signs of Change Inaugural Ball. The event is hosted by Deaf In Government, DPAN.TV and SignVote starts at 7:00 p.m. EST and will end at 9:00 p.m. EST. Speakers include Nyle DiMarco, Claudia Gordon, Howard Rosenblum (NAD), Zainab Alkebsi (DHHCAN), Sachiko Flores (DDW) or Sasha Ponnapa (CSD Unites), Brianne Burger (DIG), Kirston Pumphrey and Leila Hanaumi (SignVote)Entertainment includes Wawa Snipes, Mandy Harvey, Sean Forbes, Ronnie Bradley with video compilations of deaf actors in various movies and TV shows, athletes in sports, events, music, and art throughout the year 2020. Sign up on FaceBook and stream live at DPAN.TV.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. 

Published inDemocratsJoe BidenKamala Harris

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