In the United States, July 26 is recognized annually as National Disability Independence Day, commemorating the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990. The ADA provides protection from employment discrimination and better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities.
The law began by removing obstacles that people with disabilities faced daily. Over time, common barriers such as narrow doors and small bathroom stalls became accessible to wheelchairs. Other examples include braille signs and crosswalks for the vision impaired. The changes improved mobility and safety and secured access to economic and civic opportunities.
Ed Roberts: Is known as the founder of the independent living movement. Ed was paralyzed from the neck down and became the first wheelchair user to attend the University of California Berkeley. He helped lead the 504 sit-in in San Francisco, a driving force for ADA.
Patricia Wright: Is known as a disability activist who is legally blind and was instrumental in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act. She co-founded the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and fought for amendments to Fair Housing Act regarding people with disabilities.
Judy Heumann: Is known as the "Mother of the Disability Rights Movement." She dedicated her life to fighting for disability rights and was one of the architects of the ADA.
When children and youth are placed into foster care, away from parents, siblings, and extended family—they can lose their cultural identity. That is why supporting, encouraging, and honoring a child’s race, ethnicity, and culture is so important. While this may seem hard, one way to support a strong cultural identity is through literacy!
Here are three books we recommend:
- I am Not a Label by Cerrie Burnell
- Fighting for Yes! by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
- The ABCs of Inclusion by Beth Leipholtz