We celebrate* the summer anniversaries of the landmark Olmstead decision and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provide more independence and freedom for people with disabilities.
The Olmstead decision celebrated its twenty-first anniversary on June 22, 2020. This landmark decision enabled people with disabilities to avoid institutionalization, and to live in their communities with meaningfully supportive alternatives as depicted in The Promise of Olmstead video (link). The momentum also created Centers for Independent Living as local support. The Olmstead decision stood on the shoulders of the Americans with Disabilities Act which was (then) the most recent national law to support access and inclusion .
We are on the verge of the 30th anniversary (July 26, 2020) of the Americans with Disabilities Act which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in many aspects of public life: employment, public services, places that are open to the public, transportation and more. Judy Heumann and other advocates lead this seismic shift toward inclusion as well as the history and future of Disability Rights.
Looking for opportunities to celebrate the ADA anniversary? Ideas include:
- Share a #ThankstotheADA moment on social media
- Become aware of different perspectives: Don't Look Down on Me; How a Blind Astronomer was Able to Hear the Stars;
- Laugh and learn with comedians Stella Young and Maysoon Zayid
- Watch a movie such as Crip Camp, a Disability Revolution with a friend and talk about it.
- Visit a DisABILITY History Museum, or a Museum of Disability History online to consider what gains have been made, and the work that persists.
- Experience an Interview of the Honorable Tony Coelho, chief sponsor for the ADA bill in the House of Representatives and lifelong disability advocate. Learn more about the Section 504 sit-in with Judy Heumann.
- Participate in upcoming events throughout this 30th year with UMBC's Office of Accessibility and Disability Services.
As a campus, state and nation, we are making steady progress with accessibility and inclusion, though the work remains as we strive to remove barriers and end structural inequality. Beyond grassroots efforts, change arose with the support and decisions of elected and appointed Representatives, Senators, Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices. To that end...
National Disability Voter Registration Week is this week, July 13-17, 2020 (Link). Some issues and challenges that are of interest:
This promises to be a tremendous anniversary year - we strive for equal access and opportunity as a nation in the midst of maintaining social distances, wearing masks and washing hands for the full spectrum of humanity. We are grateful for legislative and judicial momentum, and acknowledge that, like Lucille Clifton's invitation to *celebrate, we must "hold tight" as we create more progress.
UMBC Resources remain available remotely while the physical campus is closed:
Image: Photo of white woman with light hair wearing a red jersey while playing wheelchair basketball.
Bonus Content: Department of Justice Warns about Inaccurate Information on Face Masks and ADA (DOJ link)