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Equal, Equitable, and Accessible: Celebrating National Disability Independence Day


In the era of ramps, elevators, lifts, and other accessible designs, it’s sometimes hard to remember that not too long ago inaccessibility was everywhere. But, then, 31 years ago, for the first time in history, the United States government officially defined the rights of people with disabilities.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?

National Disability Independence Day, observed every July 26th, commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990. This historic act provides inclusion for individuals with disabilities regarding employment, schools, public accommodations, transportation, service animals, and more.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that bans discrimination against people with disabilities in all aspects of public life and ensures that they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA knocked down barriers that people with disabilities experience on a daily basis. It resulted in huge advances in business and technology, making our world more accessible to everyone.

What Was Life Like for People with Disabilities Before the ADA?

Throughout history, people with disabilities were often pushed to the margins of society. However, there’s no denying that the Americans with Disabilities Act has made a big difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

Before the signing of the ADA:

  • People using wheelchairs who needed to ride public transportation would have to leave their wheelchairs behind.
  • Restaurants could refuse to serve a people with disabilities.
  • Grocery stores could prevent a disabled person from shopping there.
  • If a person in a wheelchair could physically enter a library, they might not be able to reach books because of the wheelchair.
  • Because of a disability, some employers could refuse to hire someone.
  • Even if they were doing the same job as another person, a person with a disability could be legally paid less.
  • Braille signs and crosswalks for the visually impaired were practically unheard of.

People with disabilities are now able to file charges against organizations, governments, or private entities if they are discriminated against, thanks to the protections the ADA provides.

Caring and Fighting for People with Disabilities

Raising awareness for people with disabilities and promoting inclusiveness is critical throughout the year, not just in July. We at Daggett Shuler honor the ADA’s anniversary by acknowledging this significant milestone in the civil rights movement and paying tribute towards the people who fought for these rights.

If you or someone you love is disabled and in need of assistance, Daggett Shuler can assist you in obtaining the Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments you need. For a confidential consultation, call us at 336-724-1234 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form online.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston