IN FOCUS Discussion: 31st anniversary of the ADA

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Monday marked the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was signed into law by former U.S. President George H.W. Bush to prohibit discrimination based on disability and require employees and public venues to provide reasonable accommodations for these individuals.

The U.S. Department of State said the ADA is the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for persons with disabilities that expanded opportunities for this community to contribute to our global progress. The law helped shift perspectives from viewing these individuals as “objects of charity” to people with rights, who are active, contributing members of society, and capable of exercising those rights.

Psarah Johnson (she/her), board chair for the Disabled Rights Action Committee joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion. She talked about the event that her organization held Monday in honor of the ADA’s 31st anniversary and Disability Pride Month, the difference between using person-first and identify-first language, how she’s reflecting on the ADA’s 31st anniversary, her organization’s project to fight for fair housing in Utah, and how someone can support people with disabilities in their journey as an ally.

Jim Rounds, board member for the Disabled Rights Action Committee discussed how he is reflecting on the ADA’s 31st anniversary, how Disability Pride Month helps him express his pride as a person with multiple sclerosis, his thoughts on the health and medical care provided to people with disabilities in this country, whether he thinks we’re having enough conversations and the right conversations when it comes to disabilities, and some of the misconceptions that still exist about people with disabilities.

Tecuani Oliver (they/them), board member for the Disabled Rights Action Committee shared their thoughts about the current grade school curriculum that’s being debated across the country, where people with disabilities are in the conversation when it comes to municipal and private development projects, their thoughts about accessibility, what they think we need to work on as a society when it comes to disability equality and equity, and what they want people to think about when it comes to allyship.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Johnson, Rounds, and Oliver, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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