In July 2016 we recognized the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 (a whole generation ago!), the ADA offers protection to the more than 50 million Americans living with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in such areas as employment, education, transportation, and in all public and private places open to the public. The purpose of the ADA is to ensure that those with disabilities are afforded the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
Dana Frayne, a White House intern, wrote in the White House blog*:
My mom has difficulty hearing and recently returned to the workforce. As she is figuring out what she is passionate about, she has thought about becoming a teacher who works with children with disabilities or an administrative assistant. My mother is one of the smartest people that I know, but I think that it can be discouraging when people are often too quick to make assumptions about her competence when she is unable to hear everything that’s going on in a conversation.
*Fun fact: A picture from the 2015 ADA celebration at the White House is included in this blog. Lise Hamlin, director of public policy, was fortunate enough to attend the event. Can you spot her? (Hint: she’s wearing pink and “hiding” behind her cell phone.)