Celebrating 25 Years of the ADA

On July 26, we mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — the landmark piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including employment. Observances of “ADA25” have ensued all summer long, and among those celebrating are the millions of people with disabilities working in jobs they love, as well as the employers who have benefitted from their skills and talents.

As part of a series of activities to commemorate ADA25, the U.S. Department of Labor has developed a special interactive webpage. Among its features is a timeline chronicling the historical milestones that led up to the ADA’s passage in 1990 and that have carried its spirit forward since. The department is also collecting worker photos and stories that illustrate, through personal experiences, the importance of the ADA in increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Each profile paints an inspiring portrait of real people with disabilities at work in America’s businesses, large and small. They illustrate how the ADA has opened doors of opportunity, directly impacting people’s employment and life trajectories for the better.

Individuals with disabilities and/or employers of workers with disabilities from across the nation are invited to add to the collection by submitting their own employment story. Employers can also engage in the ADA25 festivities by promoting the anniversary through their communication channels, alerting their employees to the milestone, hosting disability-inclusion events for staff, and kicking-off their planning for National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

By marking the ADA’s anniversary as the crucial civil rights milestone that it is, all of us can demonstrate a commitment to delivering on the ADA’s promise — for today’s workers with disabilities, as well as future generations.

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