28 Years of The Americans with Disabilities Act

By: Kelly Elton

Often we become more focused on the celebration vs the work that an effort may require. Many Americans may do this is immediately after a couple becomes engaged. The focal point of their relationship becomes the wedding day vs the actual lifelong marriage. Same is true when we recently celebrated the 28th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act. I was one of those posted to social media, “Happy Birthday ADA!” But what was I expecting people to celebrate? Twenty eight years of what? The harsh reality hit me when I saw a tweet from OCALI Family Center, “Twenty-eight years after the ADA was passed, we’ve had a 1% growth in the employment rate of people with disabilities.” -John Kemp.

I immediately felt the sting when I read “1% growth in employment rates.” Really? How can that be? It is our reality in America. How can we make change? Schools cannot be expected to do it alone or better yet one teacher, it takes a community. It takes us, we must come to together and help schools build better transition programs. This Venture Bound’s purpose, bring about collaboration to ensure our students graduate with meaningful employment where they are at the least paid a livable wage. If you are a teacher or administrator struggling, contact me at kelly@venturebound.org.