The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H. W. Bush on July 26th, 1990. Building upon previous civil rights legislation, the ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability, outlines provisions for reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.
This year marks the 25th anniversary ADA and to celebrate the accessibility program at the Smithsonian Institute is hosting Festival ADA: 25 Years of Disability Rights from July 24th through 26th. Festival activities are scheduled from 12 to 5 p.m. daily on the Mall-side terrace of the National Museum of American History and include panel discussions, exhibitors, and demonstrations. The festival also includes: music, dance, and storytelling performances, and workshops as well as demonstrations of accessible video gaming, transportation, technology, and international programs. Through these events people can learn about the ADA and its impact on the lives of Americans with disabilities from the people who wrote, advocated for, and ensured the passage of the law.
Festival ADA is just a part of the celebrations happening here in DC. The 25/40 Celebration is a cross-campus celebration of American culture at the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Institutions. This event celebrates both the ADA and the creation of VSA. Founded 40 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the VSA international network supports and offers a wide array of accessible cultural, arts, and education programs, and experiences. Learn more about VSA.
For a full listing of events please visit http://www.2540celebration.com/schedule-of-events. You can also view and/or download a full-text version of the event guide at http://www.2540celebration.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2540-Celebration-Guide.pdf.
Unable to attend the celebrations in Washington, D.C.? You can learn more related ADA and VSA anniversary activities at http://www.2540celebration.com/about-2540/related-anniversary-activities/. How is your community celebrating the ADA and accessible arts in America? Tell us in the comment section!
NARIC will join representatives from several NIDILRR-funded projects at the Smithsonian’s Festival ADA: 25 Years of Disability Rights this weekend on the National Mall! Learn more: Meet us at the Smithsonian!
Happy Anniversary to the ADA and VSA!