Ann Deschamps, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center discussed the Americans With Disabilities Act, its history and where we stand today with its promises of access and opportunity for nearly one in four of us.
The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center is one of ten regional offices charged with educating the public on ADA, serving the DC area, DE, MD, PA, VA and WV. It conducts research and training programs. Its free technical assistance line – 800-949-4232 – helps individuals and businesses on topics such as accommodations, businesses’ rights/responsibilities under the law, service animals, public right of way, and more. Ann also manages the ADA Trainer Leadership Network, which works to expand ADA training opportunities in local communities.
We discussed the term ‘disability’ and what constitutes a protected class. She points out that many of us are an accident or illness away from becoming ‘disabled,’ including age-related issues such as failing hearing or vision.
We spoke about one of the largest barriers to employment and full acceptance, attitudinal issues. How do you change our society’s concept of disabilities? We talked about young people and their views on disabilities having grown up post Act, and we talked about COVID’s impact on work from home, a leveler in employment opportunities for the disabled.
For questions on definitions, rights and resources, go to ADAINFO.org
or call the assistance line at 800-949-4232