Anniversary of the ADA

By David Morstad

“Three weeks ago we celebrated our nation’s Independence Day. Today we’re here to rejoice in and celebrate another “independence day,” one that is long overdue. With today’s signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom.”

George H. W. Bush 1990

Those word s were spoken on July 26, 1990 as President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The words were what they were supposed to be – honest, beautiful and celebratory.   Like all ceremonies, the signing of the ADA recognized the struggle that had gone before and looked to brighter days ahead. It was not a time to highlight uncertainty, opposition and fear on the part of people without disabilities, though a great deal of that swirled about. It continues to do so today. Continue reading

Paratransit Services… A Luxury?

By Connie Horn

Recently I came across the following article in The Baltimore Sun. The writer of the article said:

“The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s mobility program for the disabled looks like an expensive and unnecessary luxury. On a recent 20-minute trip to West Baltimore I spotted three of these vans that were either empty or had only a single passenger. This program must cost millions of dollars; how can we possibly afford it? If there is a justifiable need surely it can be met more efficiently by a private carrier. It seems there could be a good story here about an opportunity to cut excessive government spending.”

In the past few months I have written blogs on the topic of community accessibility for people with disabilities, so this article hit a nerve with me, especially when the writer said “looks like an expensive and unnecessary luxury.” Continue reading

Equal Access for People with Disabilities

By Connie Horn

Accessibility is a very important part of inclusion of people with disabilities. An accessible barrier free environment is the first step toward fulfilling the right of people with disabilities to participate in all areas of community life. Accessibility is a broad term covering all aspects of assuring that people with disabilities can participate and have the same choice everyone else have. Continue reading