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Local organizations come together to celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 17:48:57-04

MILWAUKEE — It was on this day in 1990 that former President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Barbara Beckert is the Director of External Advocacy for Disability Rights Wisconsin.

"We provide a wide range of services to ensure that people can live as independently as possible and that they have the opportunity to assert their rights and be contributing members to our community," Beckert said.

In recognition of this special day, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley issued a proclamation declaring Tuesday "Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day." There was also a special resource fair at the Washington Park Senior Center.

"We talk about equity, it's making sure that people have what they need to be healthy and safe in the community and so all people, regardless of their abilities, should be treated (with) dignity and respect," said Shakita LaGrant McClain, Executive Director of the Department of Health and Human Services of Milwaukee County.

The ADA also expanded equal employment opportunity and full inclusion. Heather Swan says it makes her happy to be independent and have her own job.

"I do piece work at Patheon Industries making acetates for when people get their eyes dilated and it's really fun to do that," she said.

Deloris Sallis is the Founder and CEO of Parent University. She was inspired to start her business after adopting a son with disabilities and her 13-year-old granddaughter Liberty was born with Cerebral Palsy.

"I serve anybody with a disability to make sure they get everything that they need to live in the community comfortable and have a great life," said Sallis.

Tuesday serves as a great reminder of bipartisan legislation that changed the face of America.

"I think that we should all remember that disability is the largest minority group and it's one that any one of us can join at any time," said Beckert.

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