The American Disability Act is also known as the ADA. This important law forbids discrimination based on disabilities. This was enacted in the 101st Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Under ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees that are Differently abled.
We are just like everyone else, and we want to be able to be treated as such. We want the same public accommodations, transportation and employment opportunities. Since I was three years old the ADA has been in effect. I pretty much lived with it all my life. This aided me in my education, because I am a college student, and in employment. I feel very lucky to have a great career that I love! This is where I feel that I am included, valued and the best part is being paid fairly.
Not only is it important to me but it’s also so important to other people in the Down syndrome community. Here are a couple of quotes from the lawmakers who worked very hard on the ADA: Former President George H.W. Bush said, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy said, “Equal justice under the law is not a privilege-but fundamental birthright in America.”
Even though the ADA was an incredible milestone for the disability community, I still see and experience discrimination. I have friends who are wheelchair users, and they still have difficulty accessing restaurants or businesses. There are many hurdles that affect all people with disabilities. In my personal experience I have applied for other job positions in the past, but because I have Down Syndrome I wasn’t considered. There are still people who experience organ transplant discrimination! We have a long way to go, but we at NDSS are working hard every day to make sure people with Down syndrome have equal rights.