Today marks the end of a month of celebrating the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Across the country, people came together to recognize the event and to celebrate the progress we’ve made in access and independence for people with disabilities. How did the members of NIDILRR community celebrate? The ADA National Network Regional Centers led the way with events throughout July to commemorate the anniversary including:
- A panel discussion on disability rights and substance use disorders hosted by the New England ADA Regional Center.
- A webinar on access to outdoor recreation like beaches and parks hosted by the Northeast ADA Regional Center (Today at 1pm ET!).
- A webinar with John Wodatch, retired head of the Disability Section at the Department of Justice, and Marian Vessels, retired director of the Mid-Atlantic ADA Regional Center, reflecting on the past, present, and future of the ADA and other civil rights legislation impacting people with disabilities hosted by the Southeast ADA Regional Center.
- An episode of ADA Live! with the Honorable Senator Tom Harkin, chief sponsor of the ADA, also hosted by the Southeast ADA Regional Center.
- The Mid-Atlantic ADA Regional Center joined the Washington Nationals for an on-field celebration of the ADA at Nats Park.
- A webcast with Andy Imparato, director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, on the goals of the ADA and the current and future policy issues impacting people with disabilities, hosted by the Great Lakes ADA Regional Center.
- A #TwitterChat with Lex Frieden, director of the Southwest ADA Regional Center and a driving force behind the drafting of the ADA, hosted on the Center’s Twitter stream.
- The Rocky Mountain ADA Regional Center published series of articles and guest blog posts on the ADA and access to programs, parks, and presentations.
- A webinar on accessibility in the healthcare setting hosted by the Pacific ADA Regional Center.
There were many more moments shared in person, in blogs, and on social media. Our director Mark Odum shared his thoughts on the anniversary. ACL’s Lance Robertson also talked about the progress made and progress to come. Check out this #TwitterMoment featuring posts across the Twitterverse for the 29th Anniversary curated by the ADA National Network Knowledge Translation Center, #ADA29 moments posted to Facebook, and #ADA29 and #ThanksToTheADA posts on Instagram.
The ADA turns “the Big Three-Oh” (aka 30) a year from now but we’re not waiting to start the celebration. The ADA National Network has already kicked off the 30th anniversary with a new survey, the ADA Impact 2020 Survey, hosted by the Southwest ADA Regional Center:
The information gathered from this survey will help us 1) understand what aspects of society have become more accessible due to the ADA; 2) understand what areas still require further investigation and proposed solutions; and 3) develop and improve the information, support, and guidance needed to help further the goals of the ADA. Whatever your experience with the ADA, we would like to hear from you.
Visit the survey and share your experience to shape the future of inclusion and participation!
Meanwhile, keep writing, posting, and talking about the impact the ADA has had on your life, and what you hope to see in the future!