We enjoyed a shorter work week, thanks to a wonderful 4th of July Holiday Weekend! Happy Friday!

Our Independence Day

In 1776, the second continental congress voted to declare their freedom from the British Empire and started the United States of America. At the time, they declared that all men are created equal and that they should have certain rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Since that time, every July 4th, we have celebrated Independence Day.

For people with disabilities however, it took us another 214 years for us to declare our independence. Our Independence Day also came on a day in July as on July 26, 1990 President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. That law allowed us to pursue those same dreams of equality that had been promised since the founding fathers wrote that first document. For people with disabilities, this law, at least in theory allowed us to pursue employment without facing discrimination, to be involved in everything offered by state and local governments, without access being denied, and to enjoy entry in to and use of public facilities without being turned away.

Yet even though those rights were granted to us in theory, we still have to fight for our independence even today. There are threats to Medicaid which pays for the long-term services and supports that many people need. There are those who want to make it much more difficult to enforce the regulations that keep businesses accessible by introducing ADA notification acts. There is also still hidden discrimination when it comes to employment.

We know that to get our independence from Britain, there were wars that had to be fought and won. That is our challenge now people with disabilities, our friends, and allies have to fight for our independence, every time it is challenged we have to stand up and let people know how important this is. If we don’t, there may come a time, when we won’t have an independence day to celebrate.

-Roger F.

What freedoms do you enjoy?