Today marks a very special anniversary for all individuals of disabilities and those who advocate for them. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago today, giving legal protections to individuals with disabilities that have long been taken for granted by individuals without disabilities. This was one of the signature events that led me down the road towards a career serving individuals with disabilities. About a year after the law’s passage, I was working for the student newspaper in college and wrote about how the law led to making buildings both on the campus and in the local town more accessible for people in wheelchairs (I even used a wheelchair for a few days to learn about the experience first hand!).
Indeed, an entire generation has grown up taking for granted that anytime a new building is built in their local community – a school, a library, a store – it will come with ramps. They are accustomed to seeing reserved parking spots in front of those building for anyone who uses a wheelchair. They also have always seen street curbs that have been cut down.
These are just a few examples of how the changes required by the ADA have allowed individuals with physical disabilities to gain greater access to their communities. The law also protects individuals with any disability, not just physical disabilities, from discrimination against becoming fully included members of their communities. This includes applying for jobs and seeking housing opportunities. Employment for adults with disabilities is still around only 20%, just one example of how much work still needs to be done despite all the progress as a result of the ADA.
MVP Transition Consulting, LLC is here to help increase those employment numbers by providing support to individuals of all disabilities obtain their employment and daily living goals. In doing so, they can realize their potential by making meaningful contributions to their communities and fulfill the promises the ADA offered 30 years ago.