The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark in civil rights legislation, turns 25 years old on July 26, 2015. The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MNSCOD), in cooperation with a coalition of disability organizations, is planning several events and projects to celebrate this historic day. Not only is everyone invited to take part in the special events, volunteers are also needed to make the events a success. Some projects leading up to the event are currently underway, so don’t hesitate to get involved.
Save the dates for these events. An ADA Anniversary Kick-Off Event is Thursday, July 9. The event will feature national speakers and the debut of a Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) historical documentary about the ADA. MNSCOD and TPT plan to tell the history of the ADA using personal stories to demonstrate how life was before the ADA, how it became law and how it has evolved. The documentary will air at the July events and will continue to air after the anniversary date as passed.
MNSCOD also has exciting plans for Sunday, July 26, with the yearlong festivities culminating in a 25th ADA Anniversary Celebration at the Minnesota History Center. Everyone is invited to the party, which will include live music, an open mic, arts activities, and more. This event will be accessible as well as family-friendly.
One of MNSCOD’s current projects is the ADA Poster and Video Contests. Posters and videos submitted should creatively address the question: “What does the ADA mean to you?” The contest is open now, with submissions due by December 15. Winners will be honored at the 25th Anniversary of the ADA Celebration July 26.
MNSCOD is also preparing a survey to measure what people know about the ADA and how it has impacted employment opportunities for people with disabilities. People with disabilities who work or who are looking for work are urged to take part in this important survey. MNSCOD would also like to hear from employers about how the ADA has affected the hiring process. Please contact MNSCOD to participate in the survey.
Were you or your organization instrumental in the passing of the ADA? Do you know someone who was? How has the ADA positively impacted your life? Are you interested in supporting these exciting projects? Let MNSCOD know and consider volunteering with one of the anniversary committees and help plan the celebrations and other activities.
Contact David Shaw at [email protected] for more information on contest entries, participationin the survey, attendance or volunteering opportunities or for any questions on the ADA celebration.
MNSCOD is posting information about the event on its website, www.disability.state.mn.us/ While visiting the website, don’t forget to sign up for MNSCOD’s weekly updates. Those include regular updates on the ADA activities.
MNSCOD has received funding through the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund from the Legacy Amendment to help carry out the anniversary activities. For more information about the Legacy Fund visit www.legacy.leg.mn/. MNSCOD’s Legacy Funds are administered by the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Learn more about the Minnesota Humanities Center at www.minnesotahumanities.org/