ADA Generation Ramping Our Voices: What the 25th Anniversary of the ADA Means to Us

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This week marks exactly 4 months until we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The impact of the ADA on the lives of disabled Americans is undeniable, especially for those who are members of my generation, the Millennials.  Disabled Millennials, dubbed the ADA Generation, came into age under the enactment of the legislation.  The legal requirements under the ADA influenced access to public education, healthcare, transportation, public venues, and technology inclusion of young disabled children born during that time period.  The ADA was one of the first mandates to impact our lives beyond educational opportunities, and it would be remiss to not share how we benefited from its existence.

Though the ADA has not solved every aspect of ableism, exclusion, and inequality disabled Americans endure, the mandate has been viewed as the ideal blueprint of disability rights legislation, and has influenced international policies for disabled persons.  If it was not for the ADA, my life as a disabled black girl in a small town would have been grossly different from the one I lived as a member of ADA Generation.  I plan to share my experiences when July arrives, and I want to share the stories of others of my generation as well.

Members of ADA Generation:  Time to RAMP OUR VOICES!!!

If you are a member of ADA Generation, I am eager to hear your stories about what the ADA means to you, and how your life would have been completely different without it.  I know that for many of us, the educational criteria under the ADA has the biggest effect on our quality of life and inclusion, both in beneficial and challenging ways.  In order for our voices to continue to amplify and carry the disability rights movement torch further in this century, we have to put faces and names to the 54 million and counting Americans whom the mandate is supposed to protect the rights of.

How to Participate:

If you are willing to share your story, you may do so in 3 ways:

Do inform me if you want your submission to bear your name (or moniker), or be listed as anonymous, as they will be published in future articles on the blog as the anniversary month approaches.

Let’s ramp our voices so that the world will know our stories – we are ADA Generation!!!

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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