July 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was enacted in 1990 to create a more level playing field for people with disabilities, which included requiring businesses and public transportation to have elevators and wheelchair ramps, prohibiting businesses from discriminating against potential employees with disabilities, and much more.
In the digital-first age we now live in, the ADA also has significant implications in providing equitable access to websites, native applications, and all other “digital connectivity” that have become standard in our daily lives. The ADA anniversary serves as a critical reminder of the ADA’s importance to millions of Americans. However, here at A360, we strive to honor the ADA every day through our work as the nation’s leading live-user accessibility auditing company supporting organizations across every industry vertical on their path to equitable digital access. This work and audit process could not occur without many of our amazing employees who live with varying disabilities.
How A360 Is Celebrating
Here’s what members of the A360 team had to say about what the ADA means to them:
Michele Landis, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer – “This incredible civil rights legislation is the foundation for how humans should be treated in the U.S.; in theory it should have ended discrimination of people with disabilities, but laws must be followed &/or enforced to be effective.”
Tj Squires, Accessibility Engineer – “The ADA is vital to my success. Because of the ADA, I was able to receive a college education, apply without discrimination to my job, and be assured that I would have what I as a blind professional need to do that job well. In my personal life, it has ensured that I will be able to receive whatever accommodations I will need to take transportation to a destination. I can also find my way via the Braille signs throughout buildings, providing me with vital assistance in navigating to and from locations across the country.”
Kelly Heikkila, Chief Technology Officer: “[Thanks to the ADA], I get to interact online or in person with everyone, however, and wherever we’d like.”
Sam Graves, Digital Marketing Associate – “As a wheelchair user, the ADA has had a tremendous impact on my life. If it hadn’t been for the ADA, I may not have graduated from college or gotten a competitive job. The ADA is the reason why I can ride in my wheelchair on public transportation, as the law requires public transportation vehicles to include wheelchair ramps. I am extremely grateful for the ADA, and for the people that worked tirelessly to make it a reality.”
Ryan Wieland, Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations – “I have seen first-hand that the ADA provides people with disabilities the ability to succeed at a high level and be noticed for their amazing work and direct impact in providing equitable access to all, rather than being judged or labeled as a person with a disability. When I see or hear ADA, however, it also serves as a reminder that we have a long way to go in actually providing the access it demands. We holistically need to walk the walk in enforcing the ADA across the workplace, public education, healthcare, digital technology, and all other aspects of life because when we don’t, we are wrongfully enforcing “limits” on the impact millions of amazing people could provide in our daily lives and to our society going forward.”
Anthony Lawlor, Accessibility Engineer – “The ADA gives people with disabilities rights but now is the time for educating people about it and the value people with disabilities bring to the table.”
Megan Pellettiere, Sales Development Representative – “The ADA marks the first major step in righting many wrongs towards people living with disabilities by educating and knocking down barriers as we work towards a more equitable country for all.”
Chris Westbrook, Accessibility Engineer – “The ADA means that I will have more of an equal playing field in our society. That’s all we want is a level playing field, and the ADA helps bring that about.”
Karl Cassel, Client Development Consultant – “The ADA opens the door for a population that has so much to offer our world. It is a privilege to work alongside people of all abilities to further the goals of the ADA.”
Lance Thunder, Accessibility Engineer – “The ADA recognizes that my contributions have more value than the barriers that stop me from participating.”
Andy Keyworth, Online Accessibility and Product Development Specialist – “As a Canadian, the ADA serves as an inspiration for me: it is something our own federal legislation and regulations should aspire to. Civil rights legislation should provide for attendant regulations, services, but also means to seek redress of grievances, where other methods have failed.”
ADA Anniversary Webinar
The theme of this year’s ADA anniversary is “Celebrating Resilience.” There will be a free webinar on July 26 from 12-1:30 pm Central to celebrate the Anniversary. We encourage you to attend to show your support for this law that greatly impacts so many of us!
Happy birthday, ADA!