National Disability Independence Day on July 26th commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th, 1990.

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities.

The day not only celebrates the anniversary of the ADA. It also serves several other purposes, too. First, the law first broke down barriers individuals with disabilities faced every day. It also became a timeline of change that developed. Over time, common barriers such as narrow doors and small bathroom stalls became wheelchair accessible buildings and bathrooms. Other examples include braille signs and crosswalks for the vision impaired improving mobility and safety.

Beyond structural changes, the act motivated designers to enhanced technology. Often, physical limitations restrict a person’s ability to access legal or health information. New assistive technologies make it possible to obtain the necessary information.

As accessibility improves, the world continues to change in other ways. For example, many of today’s brick and mortar businesses are ADA compliant. However, more and more businesses switch to online versions. Those websites need to meet the needs to be accessible, too.

With each advancement in technology, designers need to incorporate multifunctional approaches to fit every ability. Celebrate the independence of the ADA with forward-thinking design and technology.

HOW TO OBSERVE

If you’re employer or designer, consider how accessible your business is to people with disabilities. The ADA empowers people with disabilities to stand up for their rights. Give shout outs to accessible businesses and organizations. On July 26th, unite with them and use #DisabilityIndependenceDay to share on social media.

HISTORY

National Disability Independence Day recognizes the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990.

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