The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, is a comprehensive federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA is organized into five titles:
How You Can Honor the ADA
One in five Vermonters has a disability. What can you do to honor the vision and power of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the human rights and potential of individuals with disabilities?
- Hire qualified candidates with disabilities who come to you for job opportunities and learn about the different ways to accommodate workers with disabilities.
- Ask your town officials to redesign sidewalks to eliminate single step entrances in your town.
- Remember to make accessibility changes when you do a major renovation of a place the public uses.
- Make your domestic violence shelter, your senior program, your day care center, your voting place, your arts and recreation programs and other community services accessible so all can benefit.
- Hire ASL interpreters and learn how to use a TTY and other telecommunication services for Americans who are Deaf or have other communication disabilities.
- Support Vermont’s work to build housing and community supports that make the choice to live at home and in the community – rather than in a nursing home or other institution – a real choice for more Vermonters of all ages.
- Make your Web site accessible.
- Learn about disability rights and services and find out how people with disabilities, designers and innovative policymakers are transforming programs and services for Americans with disabilities.
- Invite people with disabilities to your planning commissions, governing board and community forums and hold these meetings in accessible places.
- See an improvement in access in your town: better sidewalks, interpreters at town meetings, more restaurants and businesses that are accessible? Write a letter to the paper celebrating the change. No improvements? Write a different letter!
- Put information about your work or services in accessible formats (large print, Braille, or audio).
- Organize! Protest inaccessibility and work with your neighbors for change.
- Churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are also often places where arts events, community suppers, discussion groups take place. Make your place of worship accessible to all.
- Support local efforts to implement the ADA and other disability rights laws in your community. Contact your city’s ADA Coordinator to get involved.
- Have a disability? Know someone who does? Get to know the ADA and other disability rights laws and speak up for implementation and enforcement.
- Celebrate the power we have to build inclusive communities: Together we can change the world.
“Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society”
– Questions & Answers ADA booklet, US DOJ