Celebrating 25 Years of the Americans With Disabilities Act

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An out-of-order elevator next to a looming set of stairs.

“Advocacy has always been my principal occupation”, he said.

Restaurants, businesses and public spaces I once loved to visit became inaccessible.

“It would be absolutely unheard of now to send a public school student with a physical disability somewhere other than the school where their friends are going”, he said.

According to a press release from, President Obama told the audience, “Thanks to the ADA, the places that comprise our shared American life…they truly belong to everyone”.

I am proud to announce we have broken barriers here at City Hall, right outside of my office, with the recent addition of gender neutral bathrooms. To the contrary – people with disabilities were too often treated as second-class citizens.

When former President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990, he said, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come down”.

McDermott has been in a wheelchair for most of his life.

“In the exhibit we highlight several types of documents and it really gives you kind of a boots on the ground illustration of how this stuff is done in Washington and in Kansas”, said Coleman. Most people are not informed about the availability of community services before they enter a nursing home and, as a result, few are given the choice to live in an integrated setting. Offering disabled people a chance to reside in the community with appropriate and necessary services would not only be a step closer to the act’s goals, but also save Pennsylvania money. The 13-minute long video tells the story of their traveling to China to get Eli, and it’s worth taking the time to watch in its entirety (the link above takes you to an article; scroll down to get to the video). Meanwhile the U.S. government had already enacted disability rights and antidiscrimination legislation in the early 1970s. I continue to push for this program’s reauthorization, and I included it in the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act that I introduced in April to strengthen the support services for family caregivers of injured and disabled veterans.

Under the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, which I voted for, Gov. Jerry Brown can further break down the silos between the branches of government so that education, transportation, workforce development, health care and other departments work together with employers to create strategies to enable people to obtain jobs and careers. There is no real Canadian equivalent to the ADA, many people instead refer to a “patchwork” of confusing disability policies and regulations. As we continue to grow in people and diversity, we must ensure that all of our residents have equal opportunity to thrive. Discrimination against persons with disabilities exists today.

Other lawsuits address barriers inconceivable in this day and age, such as US Coachway’s failure to accommodate wheelchair users on its chartered buses, and the absence of accessible vans in AO Tour’s fleet of tour vehicles. Then attorney general Richard Thornburgh referred to disability rights as “America’s best export”, while Senator Ted Kaufman called them as “American as apple pie”.

Source: Ledger Gazette



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