July 26, 2015, marks the 25thanniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As landmark civil rights legislation, the ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and supports their full participation in education, the workforce and communities. Organizations have held anniversary events throughout this summer to celebrate the impact of the ADA on the lives of individuals with disabilities.
What this means to you
The anniversary of this historic legislation serves as an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and broader perspectives brought to our campuses through legislation such as the ADA. The anniversary also serves as a reminder of the obligations educational institutions have to individuals with disabilities to provide opportunities to engage fully in educational experiences. In meeting these obligations, consider taking the following steps during this school year:
- Ensure you have appropriate processes in place to provide your students with disabilities the accommodations they need to access the services, programs and activities you offer
- Review your communications to your university or college community to ensure you are clearly explaining expectations and providing information about the supports available for students with disabilities
- Review your policies and practices as an employer of individuals with disabilities
- Review your web and physical accessibility to identify and remove barriers to access
- Consider an anniversary event this school year to highlight the successes of your students with disabilities, accessible program design, and diversity efforts