Today marks the 25th anniversay of the signing of the ADA legislation. This milestone is a good time to look around your community and see just how much your governmental agency has accomplished in removing barriers for those who have disabilities.
- Do you have a transition plan for identifying and removing barriers?
- When was the last time you inventoried barriers and updated your transition plan?
- What percentage of barriers in your built environment have been brought into compliance?
- Is your governmental agency website compliant?
- Are your public meetings and publications compliant?
- Have you incorporated accessibility and needs of those who have disabilities into your emergency response plan?
For many of us, even after 25 years, we still have a long way to go to achieve compliance. This is particularly true for those of us addressing facilities within the right of way. As most are aware, much of the reason for this is due to the lack of clear guidance and direction specifically addressing the right of way. Fortunately the Access Board is working on finalizing Proposed Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way or PROWAG, and when it is finally approved, much of the confusion over requirements will be settled.
In addition to reviewing your community's progress in achieving compliance, you can also check out the following resources created to provide additional ADA-related education and, in some cases, assistance in removing barriers:
ADA Legacy Project: Preserving the history of the disability rights movement
Smithsonian Online Exhibit: EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America
Google Impact Challenge: Google has launched a call for ideas for leveraging technology to improve accessibility