Twenty summers ago, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA. But who are they, these Americans with disabilities? Are they the people who work at Goodwill? The people who work at the Lighthouse for the Blind? Those who live in group homes? Those who ride ViaTrans?
Well yes, all of these and, perhaps, someone in your family, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker.
Some disabilities are visible, like mine. Some are not so obvious, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a thyroid condition, hepatitis, cancer or a history of depression, anxiety attacks or other mental illness.
Twenty percent of Americans have some type of disability. That’s one in five. So clearly that means a lot of you who are reading this have some type of disability. And even if you are temporarily nondisabled, what about your parents or grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, children?
Why do I ask? Because I want you to understand and accept the idea that when we talk about Americans with disabilities, we’re not talking about some special group out there. We’re talking about us — all of us, everyone. Because, like it or not, one day you are going to have a disability.