Forty years later, ADA protects those with disabilities

Posted 7/29/20

To the editor:

This month marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark legislation passed in 1990 is an important civil rights law that works to ensure …

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Forty years later, ADA protects those with disabilities

Posted

To the editor:

This month marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark legislation passed in 1990 is an important civil rights law that works to ensure that all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

One of the major provisions of the Act affords employees with disabilities the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations to create equally accessible workplaces. As a recent New York Times article added: "For people with disabilities, access to healthcare can have life or death consequences. The ADA enforces that right."

An example of this important right in real time is the Trump administration's efforts to abolish Obamacare — the biggest beneficiaries of which are the disabled receiving medical coverage even with their pre-existing conditions.

The ADA also prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability at millions of places of public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and parks and recreation, to name a few. It is a law that should never be taken for granted and should be enforced across the land.

The Westport Commission on Disabilities strives to enforce the ADA law in all town issues. We encourage residents to let us know of any concerns that we may help resolve — from physical access barriers to discrimination actions or any questions about your rights as a disabled member of our community. And we appreciate the support of able bodied residents who see our work as essential to live a full and independent life.

Martin Costa

Member, Commission on Disabilities

Westport

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.