The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its 32nd anniversary on July 26, 2022. The ADA’s significant impact on the way people with disabilities experience all aspects of daily life certainly calls for celebration. In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. This was a truly historic moment for American civil rights.
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. In an attempt to cover all the bases, the law addresses jobs, schools, transportation, and all places that are open to the general public. The main goal of the ADA is to make sure people with disabilities have the same opportunities and rights as everyone else.
Five sections of the ADA relating to public life include:
- Title I – Employment
- Title II – Public Services: State and Local Government
- Title III – Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
- Title IV – Telecommunications
- Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions
The disability rights movement has a long history. Both perceptions and treatment of people with disability have significantly shifted since the 1900s. This is mainly because people with disabilities have demanded and worked hard to create those changes. Activism among disabled Americans can be found dating back to the 1800s. Many people, events, and laws have shaped this development. The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) followed by the ADA Amendments Act (2008) are the movement’s greatest legal achievements.
The lives of so many Americans have been positively affected by this measure to prohibit discrimination and ensure freedom for all. The ADA has truly transformed opportunities for people with disabilities. Furthermore, it ultimately changed the way America viewed people with disabilities as a whole. With that in mind, the anniversary of the ADA and the progress made are worth celebrating. What are some creative ways we can celebrate in the workplace?
Disability Awareness Events
- Host wheelchair games or races.
- Exhibit works by artists with disabilities.
- Sponsor a disability awareness poster contest.
- Demonstrate the use of assistive devices at a community event.
- Host an online or in-person discussion. Ask questions such as: What impact has the ADA had on your life? What would be different about your life if we did not have the ADA?
- Send staff to ADA-related workshops and conferences such as the National ADA Symposium.
- Utilize the ADA National Network for training and technical assistance. 1-800-949-4232
- Participate in online courses, audio conferences, and podcasts.
- Conduct in-house training on ADA issues on a regular basis.
Accessibility & Program Access
- Appoint an ADA Coordinator.
- Re-evaluate and update existing transition plans.
- Survey websites for accessibility and prioritize web pages to be updated based on use and content.
- Create focus groups/panels of people with disabilities to provide feedback on accessibility and program access issues.
- Assess pedestrian access and identify need areas.
- Commit to providing playgrounds that meet ADA compliance guidelines.
- Provide effective communication such as interpreters at all large events or public meetings.
Ideas courtesy of https://adaanniversary.org/ideas-celebrate-ada/