This is a historic week for the disability community. On July 26, we will mark the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is truly amazing to reflect on everything this landmark law has accomplished during the past 30 years. And it’s hard to even imagine the world that existed when it was passed into law, when barriers and inequality were common throughout buildings, employment, housing, and more. In many instances we now take for granted some of the simple rights and opportunities this law has provided all of us, and it’s important to remember to recognize them.
As we look forward to defining the next generation of the ADA and disability rights and opportunity, we know there is so much work yet to be done. Equality is still far from realized in our community, and the recent events and ongoing sentiments surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement are a glaring reminder. The disability rights movement stems from the civil rights movement, and we are in solidarity with those fighting for justice socially and legally. Additionally, we mourn the loss this week of the late Rep. John Lewis, renowned for his work championing civil rights and also the ADA and disability rights.
While we will not be holding our annual Summer Celebration honoring the ADA this year, due to the coronavirus situation, there are a couple of important events marking the 30th anniversary of the ADA that we encourage you to participate in: July 23 at 1 pm, the State of Michigan will hold an online commemoration celebration, and the entire week of July 26, ADA 2020 Michigan will be holding a week-long series of workshops and discussions.
We hope you will join us in honoring and celebrating the ADA as it turns 30 this Sunday, and in charging forward in championing equal rights and opportunity for people with disabilities throughout this community.