Two organizations in Denver will be spending a night in celebration this July. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and Atlantis Community will commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- a law that has become extremely important for a large segment of the country's population.
There are many aspects of the ADA that have proven useful to people who live with a disability. The legislation has resulted in immense improvements in both the private and public sectors. As for the latter, the ADA requires that government buildings and public spaces must be accessible for everyone, including people with disabilities. Most people in Colorado are probably familiar with some of the more common expressions of this requirement, in the form of wheelchair ramps, handrails and automatic door openers.
For the private sector, the ADA also demands this type of compliance from those businesses which fall within the law's definition of "public accommodation." This can include businesses such as restaurants, shopping malls and movie theaters.
But perhaps one of the most important parts of the law for many Coloradans is the provision that prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. The effect of this requirement is most often seen with regard to employment, both private and public.
The ADA's anti-discrimination component can help ease the burden of finding a job that many Americans are currently experiencing. Since the nation's economic conditions began to take a downturn several years ago, there are plenty of people in Colorado who are looking for work but can't find it. This number certainly includes people with disabilities, and it is good to know that the ADA protects those individuals with disabilities from discrimination.
Because of the positive impact of this landmark law, it is only appropriate to join in celebrating its passage. The two Colorado agencies that are doing so are surely looking to raise the profile of the law's provisions so that everyone who can benefit from its protections and requirements does.
Source: Examiner.com, "Celebrating the ADA 22 years later: more than ramps and curb cuts," Darla Stuart, July 13, 2012