SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- California's Independent Living Centers (ILCs) have been gearing up for months to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA25). To mark the ground-breaking decision, the ILCs are hosting ADA25 events ranging from festivals to conferences and exhibits to educational forums and more. Celebrations started in March and will continue beyond the anniversary of the ADA's enactment on July 26. For a quarter of a century, ILCs have employed the ADA to remove barriers, shift inaccurate perceptions and provide programs and services to make full participation in community life a reality. The salute to the ADA25 demonstrates the ILCs' commitment to advancing equality and inclusion and achieving full compliance throughout the state.
On July 1, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF) launched festivities with a "2015 ADA Month Kickoff," which included arts and crafts, music, vendors and a resource fair, and Communities Actively Living Independent and Free held an ADA25 Disability Fest. The Marin Center for Independent Living (Marin CIL) plans to salute the anniversary with an "ADA: Past, Present and Future" celebration on July 23, and this year's Disability Unity Festival and Parade will be sponsored by the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities, Community Resources for Independent Living, Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa Counties, ILRCSF, Marin CIL and Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC).
Advocacy and education are a major focus for ILCs, and ADA25 represents a perfect opportunity to expand those efforts. FREED Center for Independent Living (FREED), SVILC and Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled are organizing forums with Youth Organizing Disabled and Proud to educate young people with disabilities and the public about the ADA. Additionally, FREED will host the "Our Community: Aging & Disability Conference," and Rolling Start, Inc. will co-sponsor the conference and exposition "Because of the ADA Celebration." Tri-County Independent Living, Inc. is reaching out to the public and celebrating ADA25 with a community picnic. In the East Bay, the "Patient No More" interactive, multimedia exhibit will run from July 26 to December 18 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley with a traveling exhibit at various Bay Area venues. And the ADA Legacy Tour exhibit, which originated in Sacramento on July 25, 2014, will conclude its nationwide bus tour by joining disability community leaders in Washington, D.C. on July 26.
Finally, several ILCs worked with their public officials to shine a spotlight on ADA25. For example, Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. invited local dignitaries to their July event, "Celebrate the 25th on the 25th," and procured proclamations from local city councils and boards of supervisors. And some ILCs joined with disability advocates to include their logos on the California Department of Rehabilitation's ADA25 website, while Disabled Resources Center commemorated ADA25 during their 39th Annual Awards Dinner in June.
"Looking beyond ADA25, California's 28 ILCs and the California State Independent Living Council (SILC) remain committed to fully implementing the ADA," said SILC Executive Director Liz Pazdral. "We will champion the ADA in all areas of life to empower Californians with disabilities to live and work independently where they choose."
The California State Independent Living Council is an independent state agency which, in cooperation with the California Department of Rehabilitation, prepares and monitors the State Plan for Independent Living.
The SILC Mission: To Create Policy and System Change for Independent Living
SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC)