27th Anniversary Commemoration of the Americans With Disabilities Act

July 26, 2017

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the landmark civil rights legislation expressing the nation's commitment to end discrimination against people with disabilities. At an event on the steps of the United States Supreme Court, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reflected on the increased opportunities for people with disabilities made possible by the ADA. They also voiced concerns over the ongoing healthcare debate in the US Senate. In Sen. Hassan's words, the proposed cuts to existing programs like Medicaid "could take us back to the status quo before the ADA."

Shawn Aleong, a disability advocate with the Institute on Disability Studies UCEDD and student at Temple University, credits much of his success to the ADA. "I was born two years before the ADA passed. When I was little, my mom told me I can be anything that I want to be... Because of the ADA, I am living out my mom's dreams, my dreams, and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King."

Sen. Duckworth expressed her gratitude to the disability advocates who crawled up the Capitol steps on March 12, 1990, to highlight unequal access to rights, and demand the passage of the ADA: "Because they crawled up the steps, I was able to run for Senate."

AUCD thanks the senators for their ongoing commitment to Americans with disabilities.