Access For All: New Britain Will Celebrate 23rd Anniversary of ADA Wednesday, July 24th
New Britain will observe the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — on Wednesday, July 24th, with a “Walk and Roll” event around Walnut Hill Park beginning a 5:30 p.m.
The City, under the auspices of Mayor O’Brien and the Commission on Persons with Disabilities, is sponsoring the event that will include ice cream sundaes, tee-shirts and music at the band shell.
Persons who rely on wheel chairs and scooters to get around will participate to celebrate the civil rights law that “prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
The ADA became law in July 1990 with adoption of legislation sponsored by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. In 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the ADA, Harkin said:
“The Americans with Disabilities Act — signed into law on July 26, 1990 — has been described as the Emancipation Proclamation for people with disabilities. It sets four goals for people with disabilities: equal opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency. But at its heart, the ADA is simple. In the words of one activist, this landmark law is about securing for people with disabilities the most fundamental of rights: “the right to live in the world.” It ensures they can go places and do things that other Americans take for granted. I will always remember a young Iowan named Danette Crawford. In 1990, she was just 14. She used a wheelchair and lived with great pain. But she campaigned hard for the ADA. When I told her that the ADA would mean better educational opportunities and prevent workplace discrimination, Danette said: “Those things are very important. But, you know, what I really want to do is just be able to go out and buy a pair of shoes like anybody else.”
The ADA will be an enduring part of Senator Harkin’s legacy. He will not be seeking re-election in 2014.