How have you been helped by the American with Disabilities Act? Have you ever thought about it? This past weekend our nation celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the passing of the ADA law. As a country, we have come a long way; however, we still have work to do for equal rights.
For the past 18+ years, I have worked with people with disabilities, both professionally and volunteering. I have seen change, but I have also observed loved ones being discriminated against because of their disability. This summer I had a tour of a new office space here in Duluth, and it had been "staged" to look like it was in use. Something struck me - they had glasses sitting on the desk...That made me stop and ponder....why have minor visual impairments become so mainstream, but others not? Why don't we see hearing aides on a desk, or a white cane in the corner? Why don't we see leg braces or prosthesis? These were just a few questions that ran through my head as I continued my tour... You see, we all do things a little bit differently, and we all create accommodations for ourselves.
On July 26, 1990, George H.W. Bush signed into law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the United States became a world leader in this area. Minnesota Public Radio had a radio segment dedicated to this last week. It is also interesting to look back at MPR's article from the 20 year anniversary. We have all been helped by the ADA laws. Larger doorways, elevators, and ramps. We have all used them for one reason or another. This celebration is a nice reminder of how far we have come, and brings light to challenges that still exist.
We at E3 Twin Ports, LLC believe that everyone can improve their energy and be empowered through exercise and movement. We are happy to accommodate, and if needed, refer to other adaptive sport and recreation programs in our area - such as Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Northland.
What can you do today, to help improve the lives of people with disabilities? Just like someone in the MPR interviews said (link above), you can have an attitude of inclusion. As a family member of people with disabilities, I have seen and experienced the hurt, because of attitudes of exclusion. We encourage everyone to do your part, today and always, by having an attitude of inclusion on all levels, for all people. Our world will be a better place because of it.
And, the next time you get on an elevator, remember, there is a good chance that it exists as a gift from the advocates for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we all benefit from it.
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Owner, Programmer, Blog Author, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts