This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States.
Signed by President George Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA was a major milestone in ensuring civil rights and protections to people with disabilities.
“And now I sign legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has for too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse but not grasp.”
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) July 26, 2020
Organizations and people throughout the country will celebrate and reflect on the anniversary by sharing their own stories, hosting events, and encouraging people to get involved in the fight to expand opportunities and access to people with disabilities.
Much has been accomplished in the past 30 years to end discrimination against people with disabilities, but there’s more work to be done to raise awareness and remove barriers.
30 Years of Progress: Celebrate, Learn, Share
With the COVID pandemic, conferences, talks, and other in-person events have transitioned to online activities.
While disappointing we can’t celebrate in person, I still have good memories of the ADA 25th anniversary celebration in Detroit, there is a slew of events and activities you can join.
Here are three of my favorites:
1. Washington ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration – 30 Years of Progress for All
On Monday, July 27, 2020, the State of Washington is hosting 30 Years of Progress for All, with presentations by Governor Inslee & Lieutenant Governor Habib.
In addition, the online event will include:
- Presentations by community leaders and advocates
- Musical entertainment
- Interactive panel discussion
No registration is required.
2. Achieving the Promise of the ADA
On Thursday, July 30, 2020 Administration for Community Living (ACL) Administrator Lance Robertson and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Director Roger Severino will host an online panel with
- Lynn Johnson, Administrator of the Administration for Children and Families
- Rear Admiral Micheal Weahkee, Director of the Indian Health Service
- Calder Lynch, Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
for a discussion of the progress made in the 30 years since the ADA passed.
In addition, they will discuss future work needed to remove barriers and provide equal access to all Americans.
No registration is required.
3. Gaelynn Lea in Concert
Enjoy a night of live music and conversation with musician and disability rights advocate, Gaelynn Lea.
Winner of National Public Radio’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, Lea will share her music and her story in the finale of the ADA anniversary celebration with Starkloff Disability Institute.
She is a classically trained violinist and songwriter who has performed her mix of original songs and traditional fiddle tunes in major music festivals, traveling to 45 states and nine countries.
I invite you to join any of the ADA events I’ve included in this post. If you didn’t find one that interests you, check out ADA 30 Events for other choices.
How are your celebrating the 30th anniversary of the ADA?
Photo credit: ADA National Network.