On July 26, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 32!
Last year we celebrated ADA’s 31st anniversary and the end of the pandemic shutdown with a get-together at Sparks Marina Park that included COVID-19 information and free vaccines provided by Immunize Nevada.
This year, we're continuing to celebrate some of the ways that the ADA changed American society.
Before the American Disabilities Act was signed:
- People using wheelchairs who wanted to ride a bus or train would need to abandon their wheelchairs.
- A restaurant could refuse to serve a person with disabilities.
- A grocery store could prevent a disabled person from buying the goods there.
- If a person in a wheelchair could actually physically enter a library, he or she might not be able to check out library books, because of the wheelchair.
- "Homosexuals" could be considered disabled. There was no previous legal definition of disability and homosexuality was considered a disease until 1973.
- Any place of employment could refuse to hire a person just because of his/her disability.
- A person with disabilities could legally be paid less just because of his/her disability, even if he or she was doing the same work as another person.
- Because the restrooms on trains were not accessible, people often had to wear precautionary diapers when they traveled.
We know the work isn’t done and there are still many areas that need to be improved for people with disabilities to have all the rights and responsibilities they deserve, so we’ll call this a good start.
If you have questions about the ADA or compliance, contact Mark Tadder, who has earned certification as an Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator.