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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 4

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“Before the ADA, playgrounds were not accessible for adults or children with disabilities.  

In the 1990s, we wrote regulations and now you see more and more poured in place rubber surfaces and the equipment is more accessible than it was before.

You have beach access routes and beach wheelchairs – that was almost unheard of before.

Stadiums and arenas: before the ADA, you were lucky to have a stadium where you could find a wheelchair accessible seat at all.

Now, we address sightline over standing spectators, and accessible seating dispersed throughout the facility – because of the ADA,” Capozzi said.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 3

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Capozzi said one of the biggest successes of the ADA was the effect on public transportation, specifically public buses.

In 1989, the year before the ADA was passed, 40% of fixed route buses were accessible.

“Now, 100 percent of fixed route buses are accessible,” he said.

“Now, you don’t have to wait for every other bus to come along and hope the lift isn’t broken. Now, they are accessible and generally they are low floor buses with ramps, so there isn’t a cumbersome lift to break.”

Capozzi said there still are challenges – such as old subway systems that have very limited elevator access – and the advent of ride share, created by billion-dollar companies that claim they are exempt from the ADA. 

But he said park and recreation opportunities have increased infinitely, thanks to the ADA.

Monday, August 3, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 2

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
David Capozzi has been the Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board since 2008 and a staff member since 1992. 

The Access Board promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines.

He has a T-7 SCI injury and has used a manual wheelchair since 1977.

“I can remember before the ADA was passed -- in the early 80s -- you would have to call to a movie theater, restaurant, any place to see if it’s accessible. 

Now I assume it’s accessible,” Capozzi said. “I’ve seen a change in my own personal attitude: from thinking things were not accessible to expecting things to be accessible.”

Sunday, August 2, 2020

IF THE PANDEMIC IS SLOWING DOWN YOUR BUSINESS

SHARE YOUR TALENT WITH THE COMMUNITY
I have donated $10,000 in professional time, writing about the 30th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

I have contributed more than one dozen feature stories and prominent opinion pieces to an array of print and online publications.

The major stories have explored the ADA’s impact on urban design, town planning, architecture, transport engineering, sustainability, landscape architecture, mobility and public policy.

Images and ideas have been shared on universal design, inclusive mobility, aging in place, barrier-removal, resiliency, funding and how journalists cover (or ignore) the ADA and people with disabilities.
I have turned a slowdown of 15% to 20% in billings into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share my knowledge via my flare for storytelling.

Statistics say one in four people reading this is completely unemployed because of COVID19.

Easily half the households checking out this blog have been impacted by decreased hours, lowered pay rates and other financial hits caused by closures/lockdowns.

Lockdowns we must all support – because we don’t want our families dying due to virus spread.

I know pro bono work doesn’t pay the bills, but it keeps you active.
It keeps you engaged in what you do best.

It allows for creativity to flow instead of depression creeping in.
So whatever you do – whether it’s building houses for neighborhood cats awaiting rescue/adoption, drawing up plans for wheelchair-accessible house additions or creating coloring books that portray diverse people – fill your vacant hours with this work.

Your work product may be so impressive that it even serves as a marketing tool – drawing more clients to your business or attracting a new employer that offers an exciting fresh job opportunity.
Here are some of the stories I have published via my passionate pro bono storytelling:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 1

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
The ADA at 30. It conjures thoughts profound and emotional.

Groundbreaking federal Civil Rights legislation. 

Reason for celebration because humankind is better when we remove barriers that prevent people from living their lives to the fullest.


Because the ADA is all about embracing diversity while (deservedly) uplifting quality of life, we reached out to a diverse group of PWD and asked them to share their thoughts on the ADA at 30.