July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Starting on that date, DNMM will join a consortium of disability organizations in and around Michigan in hosting daily online events that examine Disability Rights, Disability Justice, and Accessibility. The celebration, "ADA30," will continue through September 27, 2020.
"We are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful series of events from its conception," states DNMM Executive Director Kelly PeLong. "The disability community has leveraged their creativity and many talents to overcome tremendous hurdles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to how we've adjusted our service provision by incorporating virtual events and meetings, the original in-person celebration of the ADA's anniversary has been transformed into a virtual "ADA Every Day" event that we hope will offer participants a unique and safe way to learn about and celebrate the advances in accessibility and inclusion we've made since the passage of the ADA.
Susan Fitzmaurice, founder and organizational leader of the ADA30 celebration, is also excited about the quality and breadth of the ADA30 activities. "When we realized that we'd need to change plans in the face of the pandemic, we quickly regrouped. Our new online program will let us reach a broader, national and global audience, and reach people with disabilities who face transportation and access issues."
Robin Jones, Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center and sponsor of the events also understands the importance of commemorating the ADA's passage "The ADA is the most significant piece of civil rights legislation impacting the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. It is critical that we keep the momentum moving forward to ensure that the accomplishments made to date are preserved but at the same time recognize that we are not done. Anniversaries allow us to reflect and celebrate the past while challenging and motivating us to do more."
In addition to the state-wide virtual events, DNMM will also be hosting a series of informational events celebrating the ADA's 30th Anniversary as part of our "What's Up Wednesday" virtual program. Each episode airs at Noon: Wednesday, July 15: History of the Disability Rights Movement up to the passage of the ADA Wednesday, July 22: Before and After - A conversation with local individuals with disabilities and their families about life before and after the ADA Wednesday, July 29: Accessibility in Your Community