2020 marks the 30th anniversary of President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. This legislation followed many years of persistent advocacy by disability rights activists such as Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts. While the ADA has transformed American society to enable individuals with disabilities to thrive, there is still much work to do to ensure equal opportunity and inclusion.
I recognize that we are living in a particularly interesting time of advocacy and activism. These terms can evoke various connotations such as championing a person, cause or idea, lobbying representatives to pass legislation, peacefully protesting to bring awareness to a cause, and, unfortunately, rioting.
Like Judy and Ed, we prefer the peaceful approach at LifeBridge Partnership! We walk alongside our clients to champion and support them in their pursuit of a meaningful, inclusive community life. Our community-based services promote a better understanding of disabilities and demonstrate that people with disabilities are an integral part of this community. Through coalitions of service providers in both St. Louis and St. Charles County, we partner with other agencies to inform state legislators about critical disability issues.
More advocacy is needed for disability issues. I challenge you to be a LifeBridge advocate. How can you help?
- Share this newsletter with loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
- Educate yourself about disability-related issues by volunteering with LifeBridge Partnership, attending an event, and reading about the various disability services we highlight in this monthly e-newsletter.
- Like us on Facebook and share the information we post for our followers.
- Write a letter or call a policy maker to highlight the challenges and needs of people with disabilities.
- Send holiday cards to your legislators with updates about your loved one with a disability and thank him/her for their support of disability services.
- Vote in local, state, and national elections carefully considering how your vote may affect disability services.
By the way…If you are interested in learning more about Judy and Ed’s journey, here is a great article to read: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-30-years-since-signing-americans-disabilities-act-180975409/