Yesterday, July 26, 2010, marked the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
At the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, President George Bush stated,
“Three weeks ago we celebrated our nation’s Independence Day. Today we’re here to rejoice in and celebrate another ”independence day,” one that is long overdue. With today’s signing of the landmark Americans for Disabilities Act, every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom.”
The ADA was the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. It was a collaborative effort of Democrats, Republicans, the legislative and the executive branches, federal and state agencies, and people with and without disabilities.
The ADA Anniversary is a time that we can reflect positively on a law that has made a great impact on the lives of people with disabilities and our country over the past 19 years. The message within the Preamble and history is powerful because it clearly states the Congressional intent that the law is intended
“to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”
The ADA was amended in 2008 to broaden coverage of individuals with disabilities that had been narrowed by several Supreme Court decisions. Its provisions became effective on January 1, 2009. Language in the preamble was changed to emphasize that Congress intended to cover a broad range of persons with disabilities (ADA National Network by DBTAC).
FMH is proud to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the ADA by signing “Proclamations of Recommitment” to the mission of the ADA. You can see the proclamation posted outside the cafeteria on the Diversity Council’s bulletin board, along with information about the ADA, ADAAA and actual examples of discrimination that have been litigated or mediated. Remember, we are all just one accident, injury or illness away from becoming a member of this “minority group” of 54+ million.