Today marks the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990.
The bi-partisan supported Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.
About 57 million people in our country have a disability and over 33% of Kentucky’s adult population have some type of disability. It is estimated that 25% of our nation’s current 20-year-olds will experience a disability in their lifetime.
Louisville Metro Councilman Brandon Coan (District 8) has been working with advocates to create a formal Commission for Persons with Disabilities. In recognition of this great effort, Councilman Coan stated, “I am proud that Metro Council unanimously passed an ordinance on July 25, 2019 — the anniversary eve of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law — creating a Louisville Metro Commission for Persons with Disabilities. All people should be able to live freely and move safely through our community and I hope the Commission will improve equitable access to every opportunity our city has to offer.”
In celebration of the anniversary of the ADA’s anniversary and in recognition of this newly created Commission, a press conference will be held today a 10 a.m. at TARC’s Union Station, 1000 W. Broadway with officials from TARC, Louisville Metro Government and other disability advocates. There will be a reception immediately following.
Also in honor of the 29th anniversary of this historic civil rights legislation, Louisville Metro Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens (OADC) and partner agencies challenge residents, organizations, government entities, and faith communities to recommit to the full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by signing the PLEDGE ON! to ADA. Currently, there are 102 signatures for the state of Kentucky. By signing this pledge, Louisvillians can celebrate and recognize the progress that has been made and reaffirm the principles of equality and inclusion by recommitting to the efforts of reaching full ADA compliance.
In preparation of the ADA’s 30th anniversary next year, Metro departments such the Office of Resilience and Community Services, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Special Events are working alongside agencies including TARC, the Center for Accessible Living, KIPDA and Superior Van & Mobility in planning opportunities for advocacy, awareness and action to make Louisville a place for all individuals, regardless of ability, to live work and play.
The ADA National Network is the “go to” resource for free, confidential information, guidance and training on the ADA and its implementation. Call toll-free 1-800-949-4232 or visit the website at https://adata.org/. Callers using the toll-free 800 number are connected to the regional ADA Center serving their state. Through the outreach, training and technical assistance the ADA National Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities have better access to businesses, buildings, employment, state and local government programs and services, and increasing opportunities for equal and full participation in civic and community life.