25 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed but, like other laws, implementation is driven by action.
By Holly Harrar
Ship’s Disability Studies department, in conjunction with the Disability Awareness club, held a lecture in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Disability Awareness club hosted a special exhibit called “This Is What Disability Looks Like” before the lecture with a special ADA cake.
The event hosted ninety to one hundred guests in the Grove forum who gathered to listen to Dr. Richard Scotch, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. His speech entitled, “Making Change? The Americans with Disabilities Act and Justice for Marginalized Americans,” presented several topics including social justice.
Head of the Disability Studies department, Dr. Allison Carey, says she was pleased by the number of guests and feels anyone could have learned from listening to Dr. Scotch. She said, “I think they learned the basics about thinking about equality for people with disabilities and what the Americans with Disabilities Act does to move us in that direction.”
Perhaps the main idea or overall theme of the event focused on how although we have this wonderful law in the books, it’s not as sufficient as we’d all hoped it would be. Things like economic equality, accessibility and even technological advances still pose many issues for people with disabilities. The ADA lays a framework for the way we accommodate disability. Rikki Sargent is a Disability Studies minor at Shippensburg and says there is more to simply following the ADA’s regulations. “There are a lot of things about the ADA that are awesome and a step forward but the ADA isn’t fluid in our advances and our understanding of disability awareness. It stops at the last reform of the ADA. We make advances everyday. When are we going to change and update the ADA to meet those?”
Our society is constantly changing and adapting to accept others. It all starts with the way we view one another as human beings to try to find ways to make the world a more suitable place to live for each and every one of us.
If you’re not sure what I mean, look at facts vs. fiction.