I got an email from the Muscular Dystrophy Association that pointed out a very poignant fact…July 26th will be the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s certainly a hugely celebratory occasion, not just for people with disabilities, but for people in general; for the equality of everyone.
But I was also taken aback when I read the email. In the grand scheme of things, 25 years was not that long ago. Not only was I born 25 years ago, I was already in school. 25 years is only two and a half decades ago. The years of Mad Men and Woodstock were long passed. For it to have taken that long for people with disabilities (disabilities they had no choice in) to receive equal protection under the law is more than a little unnerving. To think that if I had entered the workplace 30 years ago I wouldn’t have been protected against discrimination. The building wouldn’t have been required to have an elevator for me to be able to go from floor to floor. Employers could have treated me like garbage and I wouldn’t have had any legal protection to help me.
The important thing though is that it did in fact pass. So this weekend, I want to celebrate a wonderful bill that changed the lives of so many wonderful Americans, many of whom I am lucky enough to know and talk to thanks to this blog. I celebrate a bill that’s given me and countless others the accommodation, the protection, and the right to equal treatment that we deserve as human beings. Happy birthday ADA! “Celebrating 25 years of removing barriers and empowering people.”
To read more about the ADA, check out this link