July 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a civil rights law that went into effect in 1990 to ensure that disabled individuals have the same rights and opportunities as able-bodied individuals. One way it does so is by prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in public areas, such as transportation, schools, workplace and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models reflect on the ADA and what it means to them.
Bryan Anderson: ADA and Disability Pride
Bryan states that although the ADA has come a long way in making the world more accessible, there’s still a lot more to be done. He starts by discussing accessibility in Chicago, what is accessible and what isn’t. He also talks about historical landmarks that are preserved as they are and cannot be modified. Another topic that the ADA brings to Bryan’s mind is disability pride and his experience cultivating it. He ends his article by giving tips for newly disabled individuals, as well as helpful resources and ways to get involved in the disabled community.
Madonna Long: Her Legacy is a Stronger ADA
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, Madonna Long pays tribute to her late friend, Cheryl Sensenbrenner and the impact she made. She reminisces on Cheryl’s leadership and influence in evoking change for people with disabilities, testifying before Congress on the 20th anniversary of the ADA, talking about helping interns with disabilities gain positions in congressional offices. She was a fighter and trailblazer in forging the path for the ADA Amendments Act in 2007. Her legacy affected thousands of people across the world.
Emily Ladau: Year 30 of the ADA
Emily celebrates and honors the activists who fought to make the ADA a reality and invites others to continue their legacies by continuing to advocate. In her article, she gives three practical steps you can take to play a part in advocating for access, inclusion, and meaningful change during the pandemic. These ideas apply to anyone no matter where they are. In the end, there are many ways to advocate for all kinds of personalities. No matter which form you choose, she says that your perspective can make a difference.
Josh McDermott: 30th Anniversary of the ADA
Josh reflects on his journey to understanding the complexity and implications of the ADA and what he has done to work with the government on crucial legislation. He takes the real-life issues wheelchair users face and applies them to specific bills when he meets with congressmen and senators. Another way he gets involved is helping lawmakers understand a wheelchair user’s perspective in relation to certain laws. So far, he and other individuals have helped Congress and the Senate pass 14 legislature bills for Americans with disabilities. He also agrees that while there has been much change, the fight for change is an ongoing battle.