July 26 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Several local agencies and organizations that provide services for people with disabilities came together to plan a community event to celebrate this historic milestone.
More than 50 guests enjoyed refreshments and networking at the Orr Street Studios. A mayoral proclamation was read by City of Columbia 2nd Ward Councilman, Michael Trapp. Stephen Webber, who represents the 46th District of the State of Missouri in the Missouri House of Representatives, presented a resolution from the State of Missouri. Amber Cheek, Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager at the University of Missouri, gave two brief presentations about the history of the civil rights movement leading up to the ADA and what the future holds for the ADA.
This celebration was one of several monthly ADA-related community presentations which started in January of this year. Called “Lunch & Learns,” these one-hour sessions are free and open to the public and include lunch. Topics have included:
- Affordable, universally designed housing
- Section 503 and what this means for employment for people with disabilities
- Youth transition from high school to adulthood for students with disabilities
- Website accessibility
- What’s new in assistive technology
Upcoming topics for the remainder of the year include:
- Etiquette, sensitivity and People First Language – August 25 from noon – 1 p.m. at the Boone Electric Cooperative Community Room, 1413 Rangeline St.
- Service animals – September 22 from noon – 1 p.m. at the City Hall Community Room, 701 E. Broadway
- Disability Awareness and National Disability Employment Month – October 27 from noon – 1 p.m. at the Boone Electric Cooperative Community Room, 1413 Rangeline St.
- Volunteerism – November 17 from noon- 1 p.m. at the City Hall Community Room, 701 E. Broadway
To learn more about the upcoming sessions and to RSVP for the Lunch & Learns, please visit: http://www.silcolumbia.org/ada/.
This planning committee was also responsible for organizing the visit from the ADA Legacy Project tour bus to mid-Missouri in late March.
Special thanks to the members of the planning committee representing: ACT – Alternative Community Training, Central Missouri Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, City of Columbia, Columbia Disabilities Commission, Columbia Public Schools, Great Plains ADA Center, Job Point, MU Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, MU Disability Center, MU Equity Office, People First of Boone County, Services for Independent Living, United Access, Woodhaven, and Boone County Family Resources.