Today we mark the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed into law. On this day in 1990, President George Bush sat next to Justin Dart, Rev. Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino, Evan Kemp, and Chairman as he signed the ADA into Law. During his speech, he remarked:
“Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
Since 1990, there have been leaps and bounds made because of the opportunities that the ADA has created. The ADA itself is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability. Through the five titles of the ADA, persons with disabilities have the opportunity to live, work and play as independent members of their community.
This influential piece of legislation guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
But the ADA is so much more than just adding ramps or closed captions or a simple accommodation. It is about the spirit of inclusion. It is about the rights that all Americans have, regardless of the disability they may or may not have. It is about raising new generations who see the person as a person and not as disability or limitation. It is about acknowledging that universal design & approaches benefit everyone. The ADA is about understanding different needs to create an inclusive community.
We are very excited to be celebrating 27 years of positive change in communities across the country. We asked a few persons with disabilities what they are able to do because of the ADA and what it means to them:
“Because of the ADA and Title III (Public Accommodations) I know I have access to sporting events all across this country. For example when I got to go see the Falcons play the Packers on Monday Night Football at Historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI a few years ago.”
“The ADA means…Opportunity!”
What does the ADA mean to you? What have you been able to accomplish because of the changes that the ADA has created in your community?