Big Week for the ADA and the Disabled
|Eddie Rea, 21, an emerging disability rights leader from Fresno, is the youth speaker at the Sacramento forum's luncheon.|
Well, not this time.
The 18th annual Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities, which is "designed to help young people with disabilities reach their full personal and professional potential," hits its stride this morning under the Capitol dome. There, 59 high school students from around the state meet state legislators, tour the governor's office and other departments and hear from various government officials and inspiring guest speakers.
Orange County's delegates to the convention include: Joshua William Bass of Laguna Hills High School; Megan Elizabeth Cray of Los Alamitos High; Steven John Elicker of Trabuco Hills High; Los Alamitos resident Katherine Elizabeth Lafferty of Rossier Park High; Amanda N. Nili of Costa Mesa High; and Nicholas Ritzau Wiley of Fountain Valley High.
Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which forbids discrimination against the disabled in a variety of work and public accommodation situations, heads into its 20th year as law this week.
Advocates crow that the ADA has made a huge difference in California and across the country.
Peter Berg of the Great Lakes ADA Center goes so far as to call it a civil rights law, seeing as how it was based largely on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"It has provided the ability to find gainful employment, the ability to access state and local government services, the ability to go to businesses, to go down to the corner grocery store, the ability to use transportation," Berg tells the Sacramento-based California News Service.
However, one thing you don't find tucked in the press releases is the way some have abused the ADA, as the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley famously reported here about David Gunther (who Moxley also recently updated readers on here).