Monday, July 26, 2010

The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

How far we've come -- recognition of chronic illnesses as disabilities only a couple of years ago -- and how far we have to go. Read here for some of the accomplishments -- and some of the progress still to be achieved. And here is a nice opinion piece by Senator Tom Harkin. Next, a piece by/about the Obama Disabilities Adviser, Kareem Dale.

And check this out.

But why isn't this a bigger deal? Why did I have to search for a NY Times article instead of it being on the front page? Why isn't there a national holiday or a moment of silence or documentaries airing tonight showing the plight of the disabled in America? Why isn't this a really big deal?

Seems to me that we acknowledge the occasional ramp or grab bar and move on without fully recognizing how long it took us to get here -- only 20 years ago, in 1990, was the legal remedy for disability discrimination created, and only two years ago was chronic illness recognized for the first time. People may "get it" with respect to people in wheelchairs and people with seeing eye dogs, but they're a long way from "getting it" with respect to invisible chronic illnesses ("gee, you look good," they say, as if to ask if I'm really sick after all?).

So take today to think about how the ADA may help you -- and how it needs to evolve beyond where it is today. Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment