The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination based on disability, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposing accessibility requirements on public accommodations (you can read all about it here and watch a video of the Signing Ceremony here).
This is a pretty simplistic summary of an extremely significant moment in our country’s history--one which was MANY years in the making, and whose impact continues to be felt today.
The ADA was the product of decades of hard, determined work by countless dedicated people within the disability rights movement.
As the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund puts it,
“The ADA owes its birthright not to any one person, or any few, but to the many thousands of people who make up the disability rights movement – people who have worked for years organizing and attending protests, licking envelopes, sending out alerts, drafting legislation, speaking, testifying, negotiating, lobbying, filing lawsuits, being arrested – doing whatever they could for a cause they believed in. There are far too many people whose commitment and hard work contributed to the passage of this historic piece of disability civil rights legislation to be able to give appropriate credit by name. Without the work of so many – without the disability rights movement – there would be no ADA.”
We owe everything to these brave pioneers who (often literally) sacrificed their blood, sweat, and tears for their cause--our cause. Their work is the foundation upon which everything we do rests.
As we move into the new decade, we at NIP are determined to do what we can to usher in a new era of inclusion through our Standards for Inclusive Recreation Programs & the NIP Accreditation Program. We hope, as you consider your end of year giving, that you'll join us and be a part of bringing this vision to life.
If you'd like to give, we recommend contributing $20, representing the 20% of Americans who have disabilities and in honor of the hundreds, if not thousands, of pioneers who made the ADA possible.