Celebrations of the July 26, 1990, signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H. Bush are taking place across the nation the week of July 21-27.
The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.
To celebrate this milestone, the Southeast ADA Center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, New York, has created an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit for the public and the media. The tool kit, which is available through the ADA Anniversary website (ADAanniversary.org), contains the following:
- A sample proclamation.
- Background and history of the ADA.
- Information about the Supreme Court’s July 1999 Olmstead Decision prohibiting the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities.
- Disability statistics.
- Case law updates.
- Other resources on the ADA.
“Since 1991, the ten Regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network have worked to change the landscape for individuals with disabilities by providing free, confidential, and accurate information, resources, and training to businesses, employers, and state and local governments on their responsibilities under the ADA,” said Pamela Williamson, director of the Southeast ADA Center. “We also provide free and confidential answers to questions asked by people with disabilities, their families, and other advocates…Because of the outreach, training, and technical assistance the Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities now have better access to businesses, buildings, state and local government programs and services, as well as increased opportunities for competitive employment. And their opportunities for full participation in community life are increasing every day.”
For more information, call the ADA National Network toll free at 800.949.4232 (voice/tty) or visit the website at http://adata.org.
This article was adapted from information provided by The ADA Legacy Project, the Southeast ADA Center, and the ADA National Network.