25 Reasons To Celebrate The 25th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

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25. Lifts on all Centro buses make it possible for passengers with disabilities to take public transit. (scroll to pages 6 and 7)

24. Closed caption glasses at Regal Cinemas allow deaf movie goers to enjoy watching movies in theaters.

23. Newly constructed buildings open to the public must be made accessible and the existing public spaces are required to be retrofitted for access where possible.

22. Fair Access for the Deaf provides interpreting for most of the events at the annual New York State Fair, including concerts.

21. Employees with disabilities are protected by ADA from discrimination. Employers cannot inquire about a disability during the hiring process.

20. Curb cuts are now a universal part of our modern streets. The need for accessibility doesn’t get more basic than allowing people with disabilities to safely cross the street and travel throughout their community.

19. Passage of the ADA has been called Independence Day for People with Disabilities.

18. The ADA was the end result of 70 years of disability rights organizing AND that work has not stopped in the 25 years since passage.

17. Title 4 of ADA requires accessibility in telecommunications. Modern internet technology companies understand that accessibility is not only important from a social justice standpoint, but it’s also good business.

16. The A.D.A. continues to help people with disabilities gain their freedom. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. (527 U.S. 581) that the ADA prohibits the segregation of individuals with disabilities by isolating them in institutions.

15. Accessible Voting Machines. The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) cited the ADA and required all new machines to allow for independent voting by people with disabilities.

14. Under the ADA, service animals that assist people with disabilities—physical, sensory or psychiatric—are allowed to have their animals accompany them in places where the public is normally allowed to go.

13. The boom in adaptive sports has made a lie of the notion that a person with a disability is presumed to be unable to participate in sports. It is hard to find a sport that doesn’t have an adaptive corollary for people with disabilities.

12. The ADA expanded the concept of mainstreaming students with disabilities in our schools—the expectation that wherever possible children with disabilities will be educated alongside their peers without disabilities.

11. The ADA has codified innovation within its legal framework. In order to ensure fair and equal access, a person with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation from employers, landlords and others tailored to their individual needs.

10. Audio books. The original audiobook companies were geared for schools teaching people with visual disabilities. However, more and more people—regardless of visual ability—now take advantage of books, magazines, podcasts.

9. Audio communications have had a major impact on the lives of people with visual disabilities.  Voice recognition software has enabled the boom in smart phones and laptop computers to reach people with disabilities.

8. Accessible parking spots. There are reams of technical plans for how to create accessible parking spaces – – but all you really need to know is how these folks in Brazil greeted a non-disabled driver parking in an accessible spot.

7. There are tax credits available to small business owners to help defray the cost of work needed to comply with the ADA and remove barriers that will enable employees with disabilities to work.

6. Many jobs that were thought to be impossible for people with disabilities to work are open to all, thanks to both technology and the ADA.

5. The ADA empowers individuals to organize and advocate for change—often resulting dramatic breakthroughs for people with disabilities seeking to live an independent life.

4.The ADA makes it easier for people with hidden disabilities to publicly claim their disability. This is very important in a society where up to 70% of all disabilities can be characterized as being non-visible.

3. The idea that a person with a disability should have the right to live independently and become a contributing member of society has been strengthened by the ADA.

2. The ADA was the legal basis for arguing that there should be no limits placed on people with disabilities. But it is everyday people, living their lives, that makes the ADA a reality

1.The struggle for the passage of the ADA shows the determination and courage of the disability community.

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