Iowans Celebrate 25th Anniversary of ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ with March

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Central Iowans gathered Friday at the Hoover Building on the capitol complex to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act becoming law.

The law, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities, was introduced to Congress by former Iowa State Senator Tom Harkin, and signed into law in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush.

The crowd began the celebration at the Hoover Building, before taking a march to the Shattering Silence Monument in front of the Judicial Building. Several individuals and local businesses were honored at the ceremony for their efforts to be inclusive of the disabled community.

While the ADA has been law for 25 years, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, Jane Hudson, says there's still a lot of fight left.

"We're giving awards to five restaurants here in the East Village for their accessibility," she said. "But there's still a lot of restaurants where people have to stay outside off of the sidewalks. We're fighting for integration; there's still a lot of people working, doing widgets for below minimum wage, for years and years and years. So we're fighting for the state to realign its resources for people to work in the community."

On Sunday, Drake University will honor the ADA's 25th anniversary by unveiling Senator Harkin's ADA papers on the legislation at the Harkin Institute and Drake University Archives.