How has the ADA impacted your life regarding travel/mobility, education, employment, or any other aspect?
Because of ADA, I have support in law for advocating for my right to equal access to employment, state and local government services, access to public accommodations, transportation and communication services. More buildings have braille signage. More restaurants have braille menus. I can have access to information at museums, theaters, amusement parks and more. More websites and communications equipment is accessible to screen reader users. I have had employment opportunities working on accessibility issues.
Can you share a “before and after” experience; e.g., before the ADA I couldn’t do X or was denied access to Y, and thanks to the ADA I can do Z.
Before ADA, transit drivers commonly failed to announce transit stops. Now, most transit vehicles have automated, audible stop announcements. Before ADA there were no talking ATMs. Now nearly all ATMs talk. Before ADA access was treated as an act of charity. Now it’s a right!
What advances in disability rights would you like to see in the next 30 years?
I’d like to see website and software accessibility explicitly mandated in federal statutes. I’d like to see tougher protections against employment discrimination against people with disabilities. In cases where laws other than ADA (such as the Air Carriers Access Act and federal housing regulations) offer weaker protections for people than those provided by ADA, I’d like to see the language and related regulations of those laws brought up to the level of comparable ADA requirements.