National Disability Independence Day on July 26th commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th, 1990.
The ADA provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities.
The day not only celebrates the anniversary of the ADA but it also serves several other purposes. First, the law first broke down barriers individuals with disabilities faced every day. It also marked a timeline of change that soon developed. Over time, common barriers such as narrow doors and small bathroom stalls became accessible to wheelchairs. Other examples include braille signs and crosswalks for the vision impaired. The changes improved mobility and safety.
Beyond structural changes, the act motivated designers to enhanced technology. Often, physical limitations restrict a person’s ability to access legal or health information. New assistive technologies make it possible to obtain the necessary information.
As accessibility improves, the world continues to change in other ways. For example, many of today’s brick and mortar businesses are ADA compliant. However, more and more businesses switch to online versions. Those websites need to meet the needs to be accessible, too.
With each advancement in technology, designers need to incorporate multifunctional approaches to fit every ability. Celebrate the freedom the ADA inspires with forward-thinking design and technology.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DisabilityIndependenceDay
If you are an employer or designer, consider how accessible your business is to people with disabilities. The ADA empowers people with disabilities to stand up for their rights, too. Give shout outs to accessible businesses and organizations.
Get inspired, too! Read the story of Ed Roberts, a pioneer and leader in disabilities rights.
On July 26th, unite with them and use #DisabilityIndependenceDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL DISABILITY INDEPENDENCE DAY HISTORY
National Disability Independence Day recognizes the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990.
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July 26th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
President Harry S. Truman creates the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force, National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he signs the National Security Act of 1947.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener. However, the approval is short-lived, as objections are raised. The administration will once more approve the sweetener in 1981.
President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.
The Democratic party nominated Hillary Clinton for president. She is the first woman nominated for president on a major party ticket in the United States.
July 26th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Beatrix Potter – 1866
The English author, illustrator and scientist is best known for her children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Carl Jung – 1875
During his career, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst developed analytical psychology.
Aldous Huxley – 1894
The English writer is best known for his novel Brave New World.
Edwin Albert Link – 1904
In 1929, the aviation pioneer invented the first flight simulator.
Joseph F. Engelberger – 1926
Inventing the first industrial robot in the United States earned him the nickname, “Father of Robotics.”