Florida Advocates Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act

Jul 24, 2015

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.

Among other things, the ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled people in the areas of employment, transportation, communications and public accommodations.

From restaurants to clothing stores and government buildings to baseball stadiums, businesses must reasonably accommodate people who have physical and mental challenges.

The silver anniversary was celebrated at the state capitol Friday.

There was an award ceremony for people who have helped the cause of the disabled community, along with food and entertainment in the capitol courtyard.

David Jones, of the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, a group whose goal is to assist those with some limitations to enjoy nature while also being active, says that while the ADA has been a blessing, there is always more to do.

“Getting people included in society is more than just a ramp and a wider door for accessibility," Jones said. "Getting people included in society means welcoming those folks with differences and including them in the community.”

Disability advocates say the area that needs the most work going forward is employment, so those with disabilities are better able to participate in the economy and live independent lives.

They say most disabled people do want to work, and the key is connecting those looking for a career with jobs that fit their abilities.

More than 3 million Floridians live with some form of physical or mental disability.