As our nation celebrates the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I’m grateful for the law that enables people with disabilities to live, work and play more independently.
The iconic photo shows President George H.W. Bush signing the law. Sitting with him from left to right are Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Justin Dart, Chairman of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Standing behind him from left to right are Reverend Harold Wilke and Swift Parrino, Chairperson, National Council on Disability.
Justin Dart is considered to be the Father of the ADA. I received a driving scholarship from Justin and and his wife, Yokisho Dart, when I began learning how to drive. It is because of them and other pioneers in the disability community that promote importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of life.
While there have been many advancements since the law was established, there is a lot more that needs to be done. It is up to this current generation of advocates to continue the legacy to continue to press forward to create change. I am grateful to be part of this community and use my voice to help others.
I hope the next 32 years will show great improvements to accessibility for everyone.
For more info about the ADA, visit https://adata.org/ada-anniversary.