Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), when then-President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. I can hardly believe the time has gone by so fast.
Under the ADA, discrimination against individuals with disabilities is illegal. No one is allowed to discriminate against them in employment, public transportation, public accommodations, housing, government or telecommunications.
As President Bush said as he signed the law, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
We’ve come a long way since 1990: people who use wheelchairs can go more places than ever before; more people with disabilities are employed than ever before; there are even more ways that people with disabilities can interact with the world.
And yet, we still have so far to go.
Individuals with disabilities don’t always have the educational opportunities they’re entitled to, and others are wrongly shut out of the job market. Bullying is still a tremendous problem for individuals of all ages with disabilities.
We aren’t truly free as a society until each one of us—those with disabilities and those typically developing—is able to participate fully in everyday life. I hope you will decide to continue to work for equal rights for our athletes and others with intellectual or physical disabilities.