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Americans with Disabilities Act Message from Easterseals UCP CEO Luanne Welch

ADAAt Easterseals UCP - whether working together on the front line or behind the scenes - we believe children and adults living with disabilities & behavioral health challenges can be engaged and contributing members of their families and communities. 

This week we celebrate an important moment in the history of our organization and our country. Thirty years ago this Sunday, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); a groundbreaking civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disabilities. This law shaped the way people living with disabilities are able to live, learn, work and play in our community today.

I will never forget meeting Justin Dart, the father of the ADA, in Charlotte at a celebration a few months after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. He was a passionate advocate, a humble man and a true patriot.

Thanks to that law, the people we serve and millions of individuals like them are able to take advantage of fundamental opportunities and enjoy things that 30 years ago were unavailable to them – and that the rest of us often take for granted. Children with disabilities now sit in public school classrooms, getting the same education as the typically developing children sitting next to them. Adults with disabilities now work in offices and on job sites, doing the same jobs as their co-workers without disabilities. Individuals using wheelchairs access the same public transportation and attend the same movies and sporting events as their more mobile friends.

The significant difference the ADA has made since 1990 is undeniable but we recognize there is more to be done. Easterseals UCP will continue to work tirelessly, together with the those we support, their families and communities, to help individuals living with disabilities & behavioral health challenges live more independently.

On this 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, let’s reflect on and appreciate just how far our nation has come. Check out the historic ADA campaign posters at http://www.easterseals.com/who-we-are/history/historical-ada-campaign.html for some powerful examples as well as our social media channels for inspiring stories about the people we serve.

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