Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrating 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Life is about self-fulfillment and achieving goals. Whether it is as simple  as tying your shoe or running for president, we all have different goals in life. What if someone told you that assembling packages is like becoming president? For some individuals it is.

Today marks the 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Without this civil rights legislation, there are many individuals that would not be able “to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.” Easter Seals’ mission mirrors the ADA and what it stands for: To provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.

If the ADA did not exist we wouldn't have our Vocational Services, which offers individuals with disabilities and special needs the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to deliver high quality work to companies in the community.

Today I want to remind you of this significant legislation that allowed people with disabilities to have the equal opportunities of employment. I want to share an article that lists the top 10 inspirational novels about disabilities and reality:

  1. “Under the Eye of the Clock,” by Christopher Nolan (Skyhorse, 1987). This autobiographical novel by the late Irish poet Christopher Nolan, who had cerebral palsy, is a gorgeous and insightful book about the expansive life of a man who seemed entirely trapped in his chair. He pecked out this story with a pencil attached to his forehead. My wife and I have given away more copies than we can count.
  2. “Lark and Termite,” by Jayne Anne Phillips (Vintage, 2009). This powerful, complex novel moves between two stories: the No Gun Ri massacre during the Korean War in 1950 and a devastating flood that confronts a West Virginia family in 1959. Termite, a profoundly and multiply handicapped boy, is cared for by his aunt and his devoted 17-year-old half-sister, Lark. Theirs is one of the most affecting sibling relationships in American literature.

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