Americans with Disabilities Act: Why We’re Thankful and Where There’s Room for Improvement

The ADA logo: Americans with Disabilities Act, four squares with symbols for hearing, wheelchair, blind pedestrian, and sign language

Think about the last time, maybe as a child or teen, you fought against seemingly-monstrous ocean waves. You were pummeled backward by their overwhelming power; adrenaline pulsed through your veins; salt water threatened to choke you time and again. Yet you stood up, refused to relax on the shore, and determined to remain on course.

This is the mental imagery I have of those involved in the disability rights movement; those who have fought tirelessly against the thrashing current of societal barriers.

Because of these past and current members (advocates with and without disabilities) who have stood up and defined basic civil and accessibility rights, individuals with disabilities (theoretically) have equal opportunity to pursue education, work, home life, transportation, and recreation independently.

Do you know the result of their tireless, life-long work? If you need an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), read Disability Right’s Resources for People with Vision Loss; learn the organizations who are responsible for upholding various directives of the ADA and read where you can make a complaint if an organization is non-compliant.

Such important feats; is it now time for the disability rights movement to relax? I don’t think so.

Today I want to create a space to share where ADA shines and where we have room for improvement. Let’s have a conversation.

I remember former CareerConnect program manager Joe Strechay sharing his frustration over the job application question, “Do you have a valid driver’s license?”. In fact, he called it discrimination. If driving is not a primary job responsibility, asking if the applicant has a driver’s license is discriminating against those with visual impairments (and other disabilities).

Perhaps Strechay would state ADA has room for improvement in its implementation and employer awareness.

What would you add? What other work is yet to be done?

I’d love to hear your voice; your thoughts; your experiences. From your frustration with locating restrooms and accessing public transportation, to your gratitude for reasonable accommodations on the job, let’s talk and learn from one another.

Let’s survey where we are and know where we’re going.

There is important work to be done, and we won’t relax.

Read More About ADA

Where Were You 26 Years Ago?

The Americans with Disabilities Act: 25 Years of Celebration

25 Years After the ADA: Blind Still Missing from the Workforce

Frequently Asked Questions from Job Seekers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act