20 years of the ADA

The news show I was listening to on the radio this morning noted that today marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law. I was just reminded of this by a post up at FWD.^

I was actually thinking about the ADA this weekend. I was visiting some friends in a nearby city, and we stopped at a fast food place to get some soft drinks, as it was super hot outside. The entrance was a double door. The right hand panel was labeled with the restaurant name and hours of operation; the left hand panel was labeled “ADA Door.” We proceeded to puzzle over this while getting our drinks. Was it a partial label? Was it some other abbreviation? The “small caps” typeface made it hard to be sure, especially since there were smudges vaguely suggestive of a recent change in label. I had passed the place earlier in the day and seen it and thought ADA probably meant *the* ADA, and mentioned this to the group. Confusion lingered, though, since – unlike almost every single accessible door I’ve seen in the past decade – it was not a powered door. A minute later, though, I saw people using another door that was located at the base of a very short flight of stairs, which we all agreed might mean that the “ADA Door” was really supposed to be an accessible door. One person mimed pushing the button that was missing as we walked out.

Earlier that day, I had been incredibly gratified that my companions had rushed to help a woman pushing a stroller (and herding a toddler) to get through an awkward door when she reached a building we were all trying to enter.

As s.e. smith observed in the FWD post, the fight isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot, I’d say. But today, I am pleased to know that there are people who are thoughtful and willing to help make the world more open, accepting, supportive, and accessible for everyone, including perfect strangers. Even politicians! 😉


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