The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 25

We have recently passed the 25th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandated inclusive environments. News coverage abounded, including this PBS NewsHour video: 25 years on, celebrating ADA’s advances while facing stubborn barriers. This audience will be particularly interested in the profile of cyborg drummer Jason Barnes that begins at about 3:00 into the video.

President Obama gathered stakeholders for a celebratory speech in the East Room of the White House. The New York Times hosted a round-table discussion via short essays by prominent activists and scholars. Though commentators heap praise on the rise of the disability rights movement, all are quick to point out that there is still much progress to be gained. Among them, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson writes, “We must now work together to make disability inclusion seen as a resource gain, not a resource drain.”

What do you think? How did you celebrate the 25th birthday of the ADA? Has the ADA made the world a substantially better place? What is the most crucial dimension for progress right now?

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