Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

The ADA Legacy Project

ADA Legacy Logo Special Note: This Friday will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was created to bring about “equality of opportunity, full participation in society, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will turn twenty-five in 2015. As with any anniversary, this will cause many of us to reflect on our history, consider the present, and think ahead to the future. That is what the ADA Legacy Project is all about.

Founded in August 2012 by a group that included disability rights advocates, scholars, historians, museum curators, documentary filmmakers, government agency representatives, and others, The ADA Legacy Project is about three things:

  1. Preserving our past by partnering with those who work to collect, promote, and exhibit materials from the disability rights movement.
  2. Celebrating our present by partnering with those who work to honor the milestones and accomplishments of the disability rights movement, including the 25th anniversary of passage of the ADA in 2015.
  3. Educating our future by partnering with those who work to raise awareness of the history, contributions, and issues still facing people with disabilities, developing our next generation of advocates.

Preservation, celebration, and education -- this is how we will honor this historic civil Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Actrights legislation and create its legacy; a world in which every citizen is accepted for who they are.

The disability community is a thriving network of individuals and organizations who are actively involved in many of these initiatives. As such, the role of The ADA Legacy Project is simply to connect, coordinate and communicate these efforts. In other words, we will serve as a clearinghouse. In this role, our focus is on developing partnerships with those individuals and organizations who are working to preserve, celebrate, and educate.

Here are some examples:

For Preservation, we are partners with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (http://www.civilandhumanrights.org). A 42,000 square foot facility that plans to open Memorial Day weekend 2014. The Center is dedicated to exploring stories of civil and human rights throughout the world. The ADA Legacy Project has provided content on disability rights, and is working with the Center to develop expanded exhibits on disability rights in 2015, to correspond with the 25th anniversary of passage of the ADA.

For Celebration, we are partners with the National Council on Independent Living, who is planning an event to celebrate the ADA25 in 2015 in Washington, DC;

  • Abilities Expo, which is providing space for a traveling Legacy Tour exhibit that will feature historical materials, workshops, and opportunities to get involved at the local level
  • The ADA National Network, which is expanding its online tool kit to offer ways for communities to celebrate ADA25
  • Beacon Press and Lennard Davis, who are working to develop a book on the ADA’s 25th anniversary.

For Education, we are partners with

  • The Society for Disability Studies, which is developing conferences content surrounding the history and future of the ADA;
  • Disability Studies Quarterly, edited by Richard Scotch, which will develop a special commemorative issue on the past, present, and future of the ADA;
  • The Smithsonian Institution, which is expanding its online curricula on the ADA; andlastly
  • The National Disability Leadership Alliance, which is creating a list of policy initiatives for Congress to address by 2015.

Picture of Justin Dart, Chairman of the President's Committee for ADAThe ADA Legacy Project is overseen by a national Coordinating Council. Its work is accomplished by work groups with the assistance of one part-time staff member.

For more information go to the Legacy website at www.adalegacy.com. You can also find us on Facebook at ADALegacy and Twitter: @ADALegacy. If you would like to get involved, donate or become a partner, please contact me at kristen@adalegacy.com.

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