Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration
Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration

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Raimondo, Roberts, Jensen Recognize 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

PROVIDENCE, RI - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts, and Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen today issued the following statements in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

"People with disabilities are an important of our community and deserve every opportunity to make it in Rhode Island," said Raimondo. "Since its passage in 1990, the ADA allowed so many to live independently through expanded access to buildings, transportation, and services for Rhode Islanders with disabilities. Still, we have not yet achieved full equality for people with disabilities. As we celebrate the anniversary of this landmark legislation, we must also focus on expanding opportunities for all people to contribute to our state's economic comeback."

"When people with disabilities have the chance to reach their full potential, our families, communities, and economy grow stronger," said Roberts. "While people with disabilities still face challenges, including higher rates of poverty and lower rates of employment than their peers, the ADA has broken down countless barriers and helped Rhode Islanders with disabilities lead fuller, more productive lives. As we focus on putting Rhode Islanders back to work and helping more people live healthy, independent lives, we must continue to support competitive employment opportunities for the vast majority of people with disabilities who want to work."

"To move our economy and our community forward, we need the skills and talents of everyone," said DLT Director Scott Jensen. "The ADA codified this inalienable truth and its 25th anniversary is an occasion to be celebrated by all and a reminder to rededicate ourselves to fulfilling its ideals."

As part of her efforts to expand opportunity for people with disabilities, Raimondo will host a bill signing ceremony Wednesday to mark the passage of legislation that enables the creation of tax-free investment accounts to support services--including employment training and support--for Rhode Islanders with disabilities when they reach adulthood.

Additionally, this week the Governor's Commission on Disabilities along with many partners will hold a series of open forums to hear the concerns of people with disabilities and their families. More information is available at www.gcd.ri.gov

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.