The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. This groundbreaking legislation made a world of difference in the lives of Americans with disabilities, and cities all over the United States, including Cincinnati, celebrated the 25th anniversary of this historic event.
It was a special honor for UC UCEDDâ€™s Advocacy Coordinator, Dr. Kara Ayers, to play a big part in the publicity leading up to Cincinnatiâ€™s celebration.
Who better to sing the praises of the ADA? Kara was in high school when the ADA had big impact on her life, and a newly installed elevator gave her access to science labs that would ultimately be the first step towards her doctorate in clinical psychology.
To help tell the story of the ADAâ€™s importance to individuals with disabilities, Kara was kind enough to share her own familyâ€™s story, which was featured in several local news pieces, including:
- An OP-Ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, titled The American Dream is Not Complete Yet;
- A WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio program, Cincinnati Edition, on a show titled 25 Years Of The Americans With Disabilities Act – The History And Current Interpretation; and
- A short documentary by Enquirer visual journalist Carrie CochranÂ titled Eli Comes to America, a.k.a. ‘Hannah Gets a New Big Brother’
- A WKRC Local12 Newsmaker Program featuring Kara.
These pieces ran during the week leading up to Cincinnatiâ€™s ADAâ€™s celebration, and generated a lot of publicity that helped promote the event to the public.
Cincinnatiâ€™s ADA event began with a proclamation from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, followed by a Disabilities Pride March attended by hundreds of people and led to a party on Fountain Square. The party included music, dancing, food and appearances by several notable Cincinnatians, like Cincinnati Councilman Kevin Flynn, former Ohio Senator Eric Kearney, artist and community activist Robert Harris, Ms. Wheelchair Ohio Amanda Young, ABLE Act lobbyist Chip Gerhardt, and many more.
The ADA is important to so many people, and the celebration of its 25th anniversary was properly and merrily observed in Cincinnati, thanks in part to UC UCEDDâ€™s own Kara Ayers.
Kara said it best: â€œI don’t take it for granted when I pull up to an accessible parking space or push my daughter in the swing at one of Cincinnati’s beautiful parks. These accessible options are due in part to the ADA, but even more importantly, they are due to the people who have upheld these standards and recognized the importance of involving all members of our community in all facets of society. It is within these people that the true spirit of ADA resides.â€