All of us at ACL are celebrating a historic milestone for Americans with disabilities and older Americans: the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA made clear that people with disabilities of all ages should experience equal opportunity, independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and full participation in all aspects of society. From curb cuts and accessible buses to the integration of people with disabilities in schools, workplaces, businesses, and neighborhoods, the ADA has made our communities more accessible and more inclusive.
We hope you will join us in celebrating these accomplishments. Just as importantly, we hope you will join us in continuing the work of making the ADA’s vision a reality for all Americans.
As President Barak Obama made clear in his proclamation celebrating the ADA’s anniversary: “… we know our work to expand opportunity and confront the stigma that persists surrounding disabilities is not yet finished: We have to address the injustices that linger and remove the barriers that remain.”
The ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers are one great tool for this work. Funded by ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the ADA National Network provides a comprehensive “one-stop” resource for information, guidance and training on the ADA.
Last year, ACL celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ADA with a guest blog series featuring reflections from a number of disability community leaders. Here are just a few highlights:
Yes, we did! And there’s more to do. by Judy Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, U.S. Department of State
Assistive Technology 25 Years After the ADA by Marty Exline, Director, Missouri Assistive Technology
The 25th Anniversary of the ADA: Celebrating Progress, Re-envisioning the Future by Lex Frieden, Director, Independent Living Research Utilization Program, TIRR Memorial Hermann
The Four Pillars of Integration by Donna Meltzer, CEO, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities