Territory Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act

Americans With Disabilities Act National Network

The Virgin Islands Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Anniversary Committee will be celebrating the landmark civil rights legislation in a series of virtual events open to the public for the month of July. Events include special programming on WTJX with free screenings of independent films: “Intelligent Lives” and “Including Samuel;” three webinars co-hosted with the USVI Economic Development Authority (USVI EDA), VI Small Business Development Center (VISBDC) and Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands (DRCVI); a commemorative celebration that will be broadcast on WTJX on July 26th; special guests on local radio shows; and a social media campaign highlighting disability rights advocates and members of the Virgin Islands community with disabilities.

The committee is comprised of the following: Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands, ADA Coordinator for the Office of the Governor of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Association for Independent Living, the Virgin Islands Developmental Disability Council, and the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Amelia Headley LaMont, executive director of the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands, shared her thoughts on the significance of the anniversary in the V.I., “We are proud to be a part of the celebration of this important step in civil rights. We are honored to have had the privilege of collaborating with pioneers in our community, who, at great personal risk, took their time to advance a more inclusive community; and we are excited about the prospect of working with a new generation of change makers.”

Activities for the anniversary will be posted on the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands’ website at www.drcvi.org/resources/ada-30-vi. The public can keep up with the committee by following all of the member groups on their Facebook pages and can participate in the anniversary by using the hashtags #ADA30, #ThanksToTheADA, and #ADA30VI on social media.

About the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. It is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.