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Rabbi Landsberg: "On this historic anniversary, we give thanks for rights won and we reaffirm our commitment to the ADA and to changing attitudes that hinder equality."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2010 - On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Senior Advisor on Disability Issues for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today we proudly celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a visionary law that brought people with disabilities closer than ever to the American promise of freedom and equality for all. Born of the commitment and sacrifice of generations of disability rights advocates, the ADA stands alongside other landmark legislation, from the Civil Rights Act to the Equal Pay Act, as a milestone in our nation's on-going work to protect the rights of potentially vulnerable members of our society.
Yet even as we rejoice at the accomplishments of the past 20 years - increased access to technology, transport, health care and education - we look with solemn resolve on the work that remains to be done. People with disabilities are still afforded far too few opportunities for work, community involvement, and independent living, in part because of uneven enforcement of the ADA and in part because of a model of pity that has too long pervaded our understanding of disability. These are today's "stumbling blocks," the obstacles that society places before people with disabilities; it is these we must remove that all Americans can enjoy the blessings of equality.
On this historic anniversary, we give thanks for rights won and we reaffirm our commitment to the ADA and to changing attitudes that hinder equality. We reiterate our strong commitment to ensuring that every American can live a fulfilling life.