By Jennifer Walsh,
Ability Integrator, Community Living Campaign
Growing up, my parents had the same expectations for me as they did for my siblings: to become a productive member of society through obtaining a college education and securing a job. However, the reality was not as straightforward as they had hoped.
Fortunately, the ADA has made physical society more accessible for me, enabling me to use public transportation for interviews and other necessary tasks. While the ADA was expected to increase inclusion for people with disabilities by providing accessible environments, it has not completely eliminated prejudices and misconceptions. The educational aspect of disability has not been fully addressed, leaving some people to fear those with disabilities.
Despite my efforts to educate others, I still feel like an outsider at times. However, the pandemic has sparked a renewed appreciation for the importance of accessibility, as people with disabilities were seen as an untapped workforce and a valuable source of information on how to make environments more accessible for all members of society. I am grateful to the ADA for giving a voice to the disability community.