Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act 30 years ago, technology has made tremendous advances that have significantly improved the lives of people with disabilities. The smartphone, a flourishing internet and now even autonomous vehicles are part of mainstream conversation. Technologies like these help people with disabilities, like my brother, Nick, do things every day that many of us take for granted.
Alisa Grishman has experienced clear pathways and inclusive venues while navigating Pittsburgh in her wheelchair. But she’s also encountered sidewalks without curb cuts and with obstructions.
Though Pittsburgh has become more accessible to people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] passed in 1990, parts of the city have presented challenges to Grishman’s mobility. The act requires existing buildings to remove accessibility barriers when easily done and minimally expensive, but it’s only enforceable through citizen complaints and lawsuits filed with the U.S. Department of Justice.
A New York Fashion Week manicurist and salon owner finds herself with new professional challenges when she’s diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her sister has seen her own career and relationships derailed by bipolar disorder. The women walk together, and some days are better than others. They share their stories in this episode of ADA at 30: Accessibility in Pittsburgh.
Though the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act made it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities, there are still malevolent forces seeking to undermine the hard work activists have been doing for years to neutralize the venomous stigma of discrimination. We have a long way to go. Until then, I can tell you: It’s not easy being a Black man on the autism spectrum.
Like many other systems in the United States, higher education is not designed for the majority of the population. It is not designed for people of color; it is not designed for low-income folks; and it is not designed for people with disabilities. Are there still ways to thrive in these systems as a student with a disability? Sure. But it isn’t easy. It almost always involves a fight. And it often requires that the disabled student advocate for their needs instead of getting help from the institution.
n this podcast, two men share their understanding of their physical disabilities and higher powers. And a woman talks about how bipolar disorder led to her being a confirmed atheist. They share their stories in this episode of ADA at 30: Accessibility in Pittsburgh. This is a companion podcast to adapittsburgh.com, a collaboration between PublicSource and Unabridged Press.
In this episode of ADA at 30: Accessibility in Pittsburgh, we’re joined by a lawyer who was 10 years into his legal career when the ADA was passed. It ushered in cases he pressed in labor and employment discrimination. Jay Hornack is now a Legal Committee member of Disability Rights Pennsylvania, a hearing officer for the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and adjunct professor of disability discrimination law at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Law.
I was 9 years old when the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] was passed in July 1990. It did not have an immediate impact on my life because, as a totally blind child, I already had access to a ‘free and appropriate’ public K-12 education through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which was passed before the ADA, in 1973. But in 1998 when I went away to college, I counted on the ADA to allow me access to accommodations like exams in Braille and permission to have my brand-new guide dog come to class with me.