July 26th Marked the 15th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

First, let me say that I think that the ADA is perhaps one of the best laws ever crafted. So many legal solutions are about one size fits all mentalities that leave little room for nuance or process. The ADA outlines a process by which individuals and organizations can find a way to include persons of differing abilities. That process concentrates more on functionality than on labelling and stereotyping. That process is one that, if adopted even more broadly, would provide a blueprint for human interaction that makes sense and makes justice.

I am a walking advertisement for how this law can improve the life chances of persons who face unnecessary barriers. Without ADA I would not have finished my Ph.D. just five years after I got my BA. That is a simple fact.

I am also a walking advertisement for how this law has not been enough. As a Ph.D. I have suffered discrimination and harassment that has held me back in achieving the promise of the education I received. That is also a simple fact.

But it is my opinion that we do not need more law at this point. The ADA and the principles it espouses is a solid enough foundation upon which to build legal and cultural bridges where barriers now stand.

I have written about the need for accommodations for all persons elsewhere.

Let me just say on this anniversary that I am grateful for this law. I am also anxious to take it to the next step.

Anniversary Links:

ADA Signing in 1990 Streaming Video

Statement of Solidarity On 15th Anniversary of American with Disabilities Act (signed by 743 organizations and individuals)

Events around the country


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