July 23, 2015

July 26th marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the most comprehensive anti-discrimination law ever passed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA enables people with disabilities to participate more fully in their communities, compete effectively for jobs, travel, and gain access to the goods and services that most Americans take for granted. As stated in its preamble, the ADA's purpose is "to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities." It is also the legal foundation for the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead decision which held that people with disabilities have the right to live and receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. There are events taking place all over New York State this month to commemorate this groundbreaking law. Governor Cuomo has a chance to commemorate this key anniversary by signing a bill which would incorporate Title II of the ADA into New York State Human Rights law. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by government entities. The New York State Human Rights Law includes some, but not all, of the ADA's protections for people with disabilities. This causes needless confusion for government officials in attempting to comply with both statutes.

Read the complete release here: