July 26th, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed into law. The law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, assuring them of equality of opportunity, full community participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.
Another celebration in the month of July is the 30th Anniversary of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network serves as the nation’s primary provider of guidance and training on the ADA, as well as the primary source of information throughout the United States.
The ADA National Network is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the network consists of 10 Regional ADA Centers located throughout the United States and an ADA Knowledge Translation Center (ADAKTC). Since 1991, the ADA National Network has served all sectors of society that have rights and responsibilities under the ADA.
As I mentioned above, there are 10 Regional ADA Centers which have Information Specialists that provide information and guidance to anyone requesting ADA information through the toll-free number, emails, social media and in-person consultants. Rocky Mountain ADA Center serves Region 8, which is Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
With collaboration from ADAKTC, the Regional ADA Centers develop factsheets and guidebooks on common and trending ADA topics such as service animals, effective communication, ADA accessible parking, etc.
Lastly, training and outreach play a part in each Regional ADA Center. The majority of training activities are conducted at local, state, or regional level and are tailored to meet the needs of each specific request or audience. Training, of course, is provided either in-person or online.
I am honored to be one of the Information Specialists at RMADAC with a team of just six. The number may seem small, but we are mighty when it comes to providing our community with accurate information and timely resources to the many inquiries that come our way.