NAACP Fellow for Equity, Access, and Opportunity, Dr. Ashley L. White, released the following statement on the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act:
Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is one of our nation's most comprehensive civil rights laws and works to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
Ensuring that persons with disabilities, from all backgrounds, have equal access to resources and opportunities through appropriate accommodations and services includes so much more than physical and visible accessibility. This reality is more evident, as we navigate the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to reckon with our country's history of oppression towards multi-marginalized groups.
As the NAACP works to recognize the diversity of its members in all forms, we want to acknowledge the importance of this federal law and advocate for its continued implementation in all aspects of American society. We also recognize that, without the ADA, the realization of equity for Black and other multi-marginalized groups of color cannot be attained.
The anniversary of ADA occurs during Disability Pride Month, which was also established in 1990. Although Disability Pride Day is not a nationally recognized holiday, we stand with the disability community in asserting their unapologetic pride during the month of July and beyond. In solidarity, we lift the disability community in all its varied and intersectional forms and strive to use the Association's legacy and current advocacy efforts in full support.
As one of our nation's oldest and working civil rights organizations, we also recognize the significant and necessary role of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in helping to fashion the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA's role in helping to establish disability rights and laws on an international scale. To fulfill our nation's constitutional promise towards all citizens, the ADA must remain a permanent fixture in federal law; we must pursue ADA compliance in all health, labor, and educational spaces; and our communities must work to understand disability; serve in allyship; and build inclusive environments for all students, persons, and families with disabilities.
Disability Pride Month