July 27, 2010
Yesterday, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In 1990, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the ADA. President Bush, at the largest signing ceremony in American history, called the ADA an historic "declaration of equality."
Nick was honored to attend an anniversary celebration and resource fair held yesterday at Portland State University. Community leaders in attendance included Commissioner Amanda Fritz and representatives from the Portland Housing Bureau, Portland Parks & Recreation, TriMet, OHSU, PCC, and Elders in Action.
Nick spoke at the event and brought with him a very special piece of history: one of the pens that the President used to sign the ADA. President Bush gave the pen to Nick's father, Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr., in recognition of his key role in the passage of this historic legislation.
Nick is committed to working with his bureaus to ensure full and equal access for all members of our community. Portland Parks & Recreation offers the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation Program, which provides community-based recreation activities specially designed for people with disabilities or special needs. AIR services help people in our community enhance their health, well-being, and independence.
At the Portland Housing Bureau, Housing Connections connects renters with affordable, accessible, and special needs housing in the metro area. Launched in 2002, the Housing Connections website now hosts about 3,500 searches each week. Housing Connections is one of several PHB-funded programs that meets the needs of people with disabilities. Click here for a complete list of programs that help people with disabilities and their families.
Without the ADA, 50 million Americans would still be facing barriers to equality and full participation in society today. Nick was proud to be part of the 20th anniversary celebration. Special thanks to event organizers Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Nickole Cheron, and Michael Levine.