ADA 30: Nothing About Us Without Us

Categorized: Advocacy, Consumer Education, Independent Living

A Virtual Celebration with Judith Heumann

Judith Heumann, internationally recognized disability rights leader and activist, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month virtually with the University of Kansas and the Lawrence communities and guests worldwide on October 28-29, 2020.

Heumann’s visit is organized by the KU ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility. All events are free, and the majority are open to the public. See the full schedule here 

The Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) is celebrating the 23rd Anniversary of the signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) at several events and locations throughout the month of July.

When President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law –the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities– in front of 3,000 people on the White House lawn on July 26, 1990, the event represented an historical benchmark and a milestone in America’s commitment to full and equal opportunity for all of its citizens.  The ADA reflects a recognition that the surest path to America’s continued vitality, strength and vibrancy is through the full realization of the contributions of all of its citizens.

The celebrations will coincide with monthly RCIL Friends group meetings and include free hot dogs and additional information about the ADA. “We hope to help bring awareness to the importance of the ADA and other legislation that places value on the lives and contributions of persons with disabilities.” said Adam Burnett, RCIL Director of Core Services.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

July 10th 1:00pm at High Rise Apartments in Fort Scott

July 12th 12:30pm at Park Place Apartments in Osage City.

July 23rd 1:00pm at Magic Circle Apartments in Eureka.

July 23rd 1:00pm at Townhouse Apartments in Iola.

July 24th 1:00pm at the RCIL office in El Dorado.

July 26th 1:00pm at the Senior Center in Paola.

July 29th 1:30pm at the Broadview Towers Apartments in Emporia.

About RCIL and Friends groups

RCIL’s mission statement:  “RCIL is committed to working with individuals, families, and communities to promote independent living and individual choice to persons with disabilities.”  RCIL provides the five core services of independent living (Advocacy, Independent Living Skills Training, Peer Support, Information & Referral, and De-Institutionalization) to 15 counties throughout Eastern Kansas.  Friends group meetings are for individuals who have, or have experienced, a disability and are held monthly in El Dorado, Emporia, Eureka, Fort Scott, Iola, Osage City, and Paola.  Friends group members share, advocate, and learn information on disability related topics.  Please contact your local RCIL office for more information.

We all know that accessible parking is reserved for people with disabilities who have a permit, placard or accessible parking plates. We also know where accessible parking is typically located on level ground and close to an accessible entrance to a store, restaurant, or recreational event. Most accessible parking spaces have an extra “hashed off” area to the right or to the left of the parking space. This additional space serves as an access aisle. Those aisles are needed to permit a person using a wheelchair, electric scooter, or other mobility device to get in and out of their vehicle safely and independently.

Everyone knows if you don’t have a permit, it is illegal to park in accessible parking spaces; however, we all have witnessed someone without a permit parking in an accessible parking space. Let’s face it – it is so convenient to run into a store for just a minute to grab something quick. Yet, “just a minute” is 60 seconds too long. There is usually a person with a disability who is looking for an accessible parking space by the time that person runs in and out of the store. This scenario also applies for parking in the yellow striped access aisles. The most common issue usually happens when a wheelchair user is ready to leave but have no way getting into their vehicle due to the access aisles being blocked by a car, motorcycle, or shopping carts.

So when accessible parking and/or access aisles are used illegally, it forces people with disabilities who need those parking spaces to wait until parking is available or have to park at the very end of the parking lot. This can easily frustrate them because they have to use up more time and energy to get in to a store. It is especially difficult in times of bad weather such as rain or snow.

So let’s do the courteous thing by showing our respect and never parking in an accessible parking space unless you have a permit, placard or accessible parking plate. Also remember to never park in the striped access aisles next to accessible parking spaces even if you have a permit or plates.