July 26, 2015
, marks the 25th anniversary of President George H. W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law has helped create equal access for all people—regardless of age, body, or ability—and its impact can be seen everywhere from sidewalk cutouts to wider elevators that climb to the top floor. As a part of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, AOTA and its members were involved in advocacy for the law from the early stages.
To help celebrate the history and significance of the law, the ADA Legacy Bust Tour (http://www.adalegacy.com/ada25/ada-legacy-tour) is traveling across the country. The mobile exhibit highlights the efforts needed to get the legislation on the books as well as how the ADA continues to shape the modern world. The bus recently stopped in Nashville, Tennessee, outside AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo, where occupational therapy practitioners had the chance to reflect on how the ADA has allowed them to better help clients engage with their communities.
“The ADA has opened many doors and removed barriers for persons with disabilities and has given the occupational therapy profession an incredible opportunity to expand its reach to enable our clients to live life to its fullest,” says AOTA Board of Directors member Shawn Phipps, PhD, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA. “While we have made great strides since the ADA’s enactment 25 years ago, there is still so much work to be done. In the spirit of the ADA, AOTA will continue to advocate for the occupational therapy profession and the clients we serve to ensure that we continue to provide high quality services that promote full engagement and participation without restriction.”