Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) and the Connecting Communities Coalition (CCC) are hosting a celebration of the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at Portland’s City Hall on July 26 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The event’s theme is “ADA Moving Forward.”
PCOD Chair Joe VanderVeer and Commissioner Amanda Fritz are slated to open the celebration. Commissioner Fritz will read a proclamation and a report on her work as a City Commissioner regarding the ADA. A current project is underway to make Waterfront Park’s Battleship Oregon Memorial accessible.
Live music will be provided by ILR Music Collective in the City Hall Courtyard, 1221 SW 4th Ave., along with invited speakers. Cake and refreshments will be served inside City Hall in the first floor atrium area. Audience participation activities are planned and ASL interpretation will be provided.
The event’s planning committee expects a large turnout to honor the ADA on the anniversary of its signing into law in 1990. Census data indicates that there are currently 58 million persons with disabilities in the U.S. Of these, over 38 million have a severe disability, indicating the ADA’s importance by specifically prohibiting discrimination and mandating equal opportunity for both employment and public services.
Portland Commission on Disability works to fulfill its mission to guide the City in ensuring that it is a more universally accessible city for all. It consists of up to 21 volunteers who have helped form a Model Employer Plan and Captioning Plan for the City. The Commission is under the umbrella of the City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.
Connecting Communities Coalition was launched in late 2009 to fill a gap in the disability community and address the need for an all-inclusive coalition focused on removing barriers. CCC is unique in that it includes non-profits, businesses and individuals.