Celebration Marks 30th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Politics

DES MOINES, Iowa — Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was authored by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

To recap the last 30 years, The Harkin Institute held a virtual rally where they acknowledged the great strides that have been made, as well as some issues that still need to be addressed.

“Economic self-sufficiency [is] where we haven’t done very well. The unemployment rate for adults with disabilities today is about the same as it was 30 years ago. When nearly 70 percent of adults with disabilities are not in the workplace, that is a blot on our national character,” said Harkin.

Harkin said to combat this, private sector companies need to make reasonable accommodations to make sure people with disabilities are able to do their jobs.

In this hour-and-a-half virtual rally, all posted to Twitter and Instagram, several speakers shared their thoughts on disability rights over the last 30 years.

Claudia Gordon, a disability rights activist and attorney, commented on the intersection of the disability rights movement and the Black civil rights movement.

“Both groups experience disadvantages and Black people with disabilities in particular are doubly and even triply oppressed. Advocates within the disability community must recognize our duty and obligation to ensure that no subgroups or members of our community are left behind,” Gordon said.

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