The ADA Celebrates 25 Years!
Almost 25 years ago, Representative Tony Coelho and many other representatives voted to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. On 7/26/1990, this bill was signed by President Bush.
This Sunday, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.
I have use of all my limbs. I can see. I can walk. I can hear. Growing up, I thought someone who was disabled had something major happen to them in which they couldn’t perform their daily functions regularly. Being diagnosed with epilepsy was definitely a major life-changing experience so, am I disabled?
The Americans with Disabilities Act even covers hidden disabilities such as epilepsy. Disabilities aren’t always visible as many people know.
Epilepsy is a chronic condition that I have had for 29 years. I am lucky compared to many others with epilepsy in that my seizures are under control, but it hasn’t always been this way.
- I had my license revoked.
- I have dealt with discrimination.
- I have dealt with numerous side effects that have affected my ability to work at times.
- When I graduated, I couldn’t get health insurance to cover my epilepsy.
- My medical expenses have always been a major expense.
Again, am I disabled? Technically, yes.
How has the ADA helped me?
- I was able to qualify for alternative transportation options when I was unable to drive.
- My work made reasonable accommodations for me as needed.
- Changed my work schedule so I could participate in a clinical trial.
- Allowed me to take a nap following a seizure to recover.
- Enabled me to take longer breaks and a shorter lunch when my appetite was affected by my medication.
- I was able to get an annual disabled bus pass for a MUCH cheaper rate helping me financially.
Celebrate the ADA!
So, how am I going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of such an event…well, there are various events going on throughout the nation. Locally, we have at least two events going on at both Dodger Stadium and the Inland Empire 66ers. At Dodger Stadium, they want to break the Guinness World Record for the most moving wheelchairs in a line. The prior record was set 5 years ago at the 20th Anniversary ADA Celebration at Dodger Stadium.
If time and traffic permit, I just might make both ADA celebrations…or I might just enjoy my freedom in a drive up the coast!
Check to see what is going on in your area and also, check out the ADA Anniversary Pledge.
Remember, don’t celebrate your disability, celebrate your abilities!