As the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act is upon us, there have seemed to recently spring up a variety of disability awareness campaigns, most notably the ADA Legacy project, which is a traveling awareness campaign throughout the United States. The Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by United States Congress in 1990 and signed by then President George Bush Sr. This civil rights law has been amended a few times since then to better support and create independence and remove discrimination for Americans living with various forms of disabilities.
If you are unable to attend an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ADA on July 26th 2015, you could maybe think of creating an event to bring awareness and understanding in your own community. One way to do this is by raising money through a crowd funding website. Money you raise could go toward bringing speakers, demonstrations, or events to your community. A demonstration could be done by a person with a disability, perhaps something that most people either disabled or not, would maybe not be familiar with or not see on an everyday basis. You could also use the funding to bring in a speaker, such as someone whom took part in helping to enact the ADA in 1990, or to amend it since then.
Creating an event could also be a good way to bring attention to causes that are also important to the disability community. In the United States, Paralympics are not televised as frequently as in other countries, so a good way to bring awareness and get people more interested in Paralympic sport so that it is made more prevalent in the US, is to possibly invite a Paralympic athlete to come speak at your local community center, college, or school, or give a demonstration of their sport and the unique way in which they do it.
You could invite someone whom handles assistance animals to come and give a demonstration to young children or families, so that when children see an assistance animal in a situation where regular animals are not allowed, they won't be afraid and they'll have a better understanding of the use for the animals and why they are permitted.
A good way to get the attention of the community is to bring in demonstrations or events that they can relate to. If you live in a part of the world where there is a lot of snow, possibly inviting a snowboarder or a disabled skiing athlete to show their skills would be a good decision. If you live near the ocean, inviting an organization that teaches sailing or surfing to disabled people may be helpful. These things will help to get the attention of the public and it will stick in their minds while they do similar activities in their own way.
Another thing you can do if you put on one of these events is to have information available for anyone whom may want it. Likely there will be medical personnel whom will attend, and families with someone with a disabled family member or extended family member. Having a variety of disability information available will be beneficial for everyone whom attends whether they are immediately affected by what you present or not. At some point most people will have someone with a significant disability in their life and will likely be able to use any information you provide.
Another suggestion would be to hire sign language interpreters and to get the materials printed in Braille so that as many people with a disability who are interested are able to attend and understand what you are trying to do to bring awareness.
Whatever it is you do to remember and bring awareness to the ADA, it will be a positive influence. Anything that can bring about a new perspective to those whom may otherwise not be exposed to the difficulties that the ADA is trying to prevent, it is going to be appreciated by a wide audience and you will feel great for doing your part and being a part of the change.
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