Accessibility Matters: ‘Lead On! Lead On!’
The Civil Rights law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is celebrating 28 years this month. President George H.W. Bush signed this act into law in front of 3,000 people on the White House South Lawn on July 26, 1990. When signing he stated, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
The ADA/ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA) is a comprehensive Civil Rights law that consists of five titles that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the areas of: employment, transportation, communications, public accommodations and access to public programs. The main purpose of the law is to have our society become more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
This law is a complex one and enforced by different government agencies depending upon the title of the law. Two recommended resources for those seeking to learn more about the ADA are newenglandada.org and ada.gov.
Earlier this year, a bill titled The ADA Education and Reform Act of 201 (H.R. 620) gained momentum as it passed through the U.S. House of Representatives. Many in the disability advocacy community were very concerned that the proposed bill would weaken the ADA. The proposed bill lost the momentum on its way to the Senate in April 2018.
As we celebrate the 28th anniversary of the passage of the ADA, we should remember and follow the words of the “father of the ADA movement” Justin Dart, Jr. — “Lead On! Lead On!”
Christina Calabro is the Commission for Accessibility’s secretary. Any questions about this column should be emailed to CFA@ridgefieldct.org.