NAMI Connecticut Celebrates 25  years of the Americans With Disabilities Act

July 26, 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Celebrations of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 are taking place across the nation and in Connecticut. The Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition in Connecticut (ADACC) is sponsoring numerous events highlighting the anniversary across the state.

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and the ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

NAMI Connecticut joins with many other groups to celebrate all the meaningful changes that have resulted from this landmark legislation, and encourages everyone to acknowledge this milestone. “The ADA was a huge step forward in making it easier for people with mental health conditions to join and stay in the workforce, attend places of higher education and participate in other key elements of civic and social life,” says Kate Mattias, Executive Director of NAMI Connecticut.  “Just referring to employment,
more than 90% of individuals with mental health conditions want to work and knowing that there are federal safeguards against discriminating against someone just based on their health condition can make it easier for some people to go back to or attempt to work.”  

NAMI Connecticut asks other organizations interested in promoting human rights to show their commitment to the ADA by visiting www.adaanniversary.org - Celebrating 25 years (1990 - 2015) Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA National Network (www.adata.org). This site features the ADA Anniversary Tool Kit, which contains:

• ADA25 Pledge & Proclamations
• Publications - ADA, including background and history; disability statistics; information on the Supreme Court Olmstead Decision prohibiting the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities.
• Videos and other resources
• Training - ADA
• Media Kit for ADA Anniversary, including tips on writing a news release, social media posts; email signatures; e-Postcards; stickers template; web badges; and more downloads for the ADA25 Pledge On! Initiative.