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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Disability Pride Month is celebrated in July to commemorate this landmark legislation.

We asked Ben White, ECI Independent Living Coordinator, to share his experiences with the ADA:

Photo of Ben White, ECI staff member

Photo of Ben White, ECI staff member

As a Black man, I had experienced racism and discrimination because of my skin color, but when I lost my eyesight and became blind the discrimination I experienced was even worse.

People saw my disability as a liability and deemed me to be broken or inferior to what society determined to be normal. The passing of the ADA (just like the Civil Rights Laws) created a platform for people with disabilities to be acknowledged and to make society aware of the presence of people with disabilities.

The ADA allows people with disabilities to thrive, work, raise their families and live the desired quality of life that all of society desires. The principles of the ADA are founded on inclusion, equality, empathy, and the right to be treated as a human being.

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