July 26, 2022, marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every year, the disability community celebrates this day because the ADA is a declaration of equality for people with disabilities. Much has changed for the better, with increased access and greater opportunities for disabled individuals. Yet, after 32 years, there is still work to be done. This year, our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models reflect on the ADA. They share how the Americans with Disabilities Act has improved their lives and discuss ways in which access and inclusion need to improve.
How the ADA Makes Living Easier for Wheelchair Users
In her newest blog, Q Roll Model Sakina Shamsi shares examples of how the ADA has made her life easier. Recently, Sakina and her family attended an event where they were unable to access the building because tents blocked the wheelchair ramp. Sakina would have had to remain out in the parking lot with her power wheelchair. “It was because of the ADA that we were able to contact the local authorities who came and required them to provide access into the building.” Click here to read more about Sakina’s thoughts on the ADA.
Teaching Disability History in Schools
Although Riley Hurt is grateful for all the freedom the ADA regulations and her narrow Stretto Power Wheelchair provide, building safety and equal employment access are not guaranteed. Riley says that lawmakers are not as vocal as they should be when it comes to disability rights. Plus, Americans are not educated about disability history or equal access laws like the ADA, as well as other topics, such as eugenics, the 504 sit-ins and much more. Click here to read Riley’s blog.
How to Educate Others on Access
Even with ADA regulations, many businesses and restaurants are ignorant of the ADA or just blatantly disregard it. Brand ambassador Josh McDermott wanted to try a new restaurant with his friends. When he tried to access the patio area of the restaurant, there was no wheelchair ramp. Josh told the manager where he could buy a folding wheelchair ramp and that Josh would return to the restaurant soon with his friends. A few days later, they arrived and discovered that the restaurant had done nothing to improve the accessibility. Although Josh had given the business ample time and leeway to fix the problem, he ended up reporting the restaurant and it was cited for not being ADA compliant. “As far as ADA has come, there’s still a long way to go,” Josh writes. Click here to read Josh’s blog.
These are just some examples on ways the ADA has impacted the disability community. And although we have a long way to go before achieving perfect inclusion and accessibility in society, there is still much to be thankful for. Happy 32nd anniversary to the ADA!
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