July 26, 2019 marks the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act that was signed into law in 1990. The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to 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.
Nearly 57 million people in our country have a disability and nearly 25% of today’s 20 year olds will experience disability in their lifetime. Since 1991, the 10 regional ADA Centers have been established as a support to creating more inclusive and accessible environments by providing accurate information, resources and training on the ADA to businesses, employers, state and local governments, people with disabilities and their families, advocates, and veterans across the United States.
Similarly, UMBC's Office of Accessibility and Disability Services provides technical support and accommodation processes as a support to equal opportunity for the entire UMBC community - beyond Student Disability Services, working in partnership with all campus departments and divisions, including Human Resources, Facilities Management and DoIT. Through the application of the law and related guidance throughout UMBC, people with disabilities have better access to buildings, classrooms, employment, programs and services, and increasing opportunities for equal and full participation in campus and community life. Equal access and equal opportunity benefit the whole community.
If you are looking for a way to honor this occasion at UMBC, sign up to attend Instructional Technology's Blackboard Ultra Ally Orientation on August 23rd at noon from the very accessible location of your own computer! Details are here: https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/instructional-technology/events/71615 We are thankful that Instructional Technology is a champion of ADA by orienting faculty in the provision of accessible course content.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate the ADA in your daily life, or through social media, click on the link below for ideas and inspiration.
Happy Anniversary ADA!