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PRESS: Rep Ann Williams Recognizes ADA on 25th Anniversary

Rep Ann Williams Recognizes ADA on 25th Anniversary

CHICAGO – Yesterday, Representative Ann Williams, D-Chicago, introduced HR679, a resolution to honor the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed twenty-five years ago, provides civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities. The ADA assures equal opportunity for access to businesses, employment, transportation, programs and services, and much more, for people with disabilities.

Amber Smock the Director of Advocacy at Access Living, a disability rights and service organization based in Chicago, shared the importance of the ADA. “The passage of the ADA in 1990 was not only about promising people with disabilities an equal place in our society, but about giving us the power under the law to ensure that barriers could and would be torn down. Here in Illinois, we have benefited tremendously from the power of the ADA, but we must continue to fulfill its promise by ensuring the right of people with disabilities to live and work in our home communities on an equal basis.”

In Illinois, the Americans with Disabilities Act currently impacts nearly 1.4 million people with access to businesses, jobs, transportation, and government.

“The ADA was a milestone for people with disabilities in this country, paving the way for greater opportunities and inclusion,” said Williams. “However, 25 years later there is still more work to do, and we must remember our commitment to promote equal opportunity and access. This is especially significant in light of the current budget impasse and the failure to keep the needs of those with disabilities at the forefront.”

Larry Biondi, Advocacy Coordinator at the Progress Center for Independent Living, stated “I found it ironic and sad that while we’re celebrating the 25th year of the ADA, the disability community is fighting back against Gov. Rauner’s budget cuts, which includes defunding our Home Services Program. Such cuts could mean that people would lose their services and end up in nursing homes. This is in direct violation of the ADA.”