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Happy 25th, Americans With Disabilities Act

Published
Sunday marks the anniversary of the signing of the historic act that helped reduce discrimination and remove barriers for people with disabilities. In...

Sunday marks the anniversary of the signing of the historic act that helped reduce discrimination and remove barriers for people with disabilities.

In 25 years, much has changed: there are more workplace protections for people with disabilities, more ramps and elevators, even more visibility in the media and entertainment of people with disabilities. Of course, there's more to be done to make the world accessible and to give people of all abilities equal opportunities to thrive and participate.

Here's a whirlwind tour of some of my favorite stories and events commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Many will give you an unexpected perspective on the benefits we've all derived from this legislation, as well as some surprising barriers that still remain.

  • Robert Burgdorf, Jr. writes in the Washington Post "Why I wrote the Americans with Disabilities Act," a great read straight from the source. Shocking how bad things were in the decades before the legislation passed.
  • Great story from NPR's Pam Fessler about why people with disabilities are often poor.

  • NPR's Joseph Shapiro told this story about how the ADA has benefited people with and without disabilities.
  • New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) took the opportunity to promote its programs for people with disabilities. MOMA offers special "touch" tours for the blind, and special lectures where guides describe certain pieces. Cool.
  • Easter Seals created this quiz to test your knowledge about the ADA at 25.
  • The Smithsonian National Museum of American History held a live chat about the intersection of Latino and disability rights.
  • Massachusetts is moving a program forward to enable deaf jurors to participate in trials, the most extensive effort by any state to date.
  • Organizations, municipalities, and political leaders are marking the occasion around the country. How will you mark it?

Happy 25th, Americans With Disabilities Act
Happy 25th, Americans With Disabilities Act