ADA Celebration Event
“ADA: Pathway to Work Opportunities”
27th Anniversary Celebration
Event Background and Purpose
Every other year, the Illinois Department of Human Services along with other state agencies and councils sponsor a statewide event to commemorate the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) of 1990. The anniversary celebration will highlight the accomplishments of people with disabilities. At the same time, the event seeks to recognize how state agencies and other organizations have worked to comply with this law, improving access to environments, programs, services and opportunities for people with disabilities. The entire event is free and accessible.
Event Date, Location & Time
The 27th ADA Anniversary Celebration, “ADA: Pathway to Work Opportunities” is tentatively scheduled for July 20, 2017, at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph Street, (between Randolph & Lake/Clark & LaSalle Streets) in Chicago, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Event Components Overview
. Interactive and informational workshops on ADA issues . Art Exhibit and Hands-On Arts activities featuring artists with disabilities . Three-on-Three Wheelchair Tournament / Sports Activities . ADA Help Table . Exhibits from a variety of federal, state and local organizations . Entertainment provided by performers with disabilities . The entire event is free and accessible
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Signed into law by President Bush on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA provides civil rights protections and equal access to environments, programs and opportunities for people with disabilities. Key areas covered by the act include employment (Title I); state and local governments (Title II); public accommodations including transportation (Title III); and telecommunications (Title IV). Title V covers “miscellaneous” situations. In 2008, the ADA Amendments Act passed the U.S. Congress as an effort to restore the civil rights protections originally intended under the ADA.
The Harris poll (2004) revealed that 54 million Americans — more than 20% of the population — have some form of disability. And, of that number, many individuals may have multiple disabilities, which can include physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Although some areas of access have improved, the unemployment rate among people with disabilities is the highest of all minorities reaching over 70%.
The essence of the ADA and other disability-related legislation such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is to ensure that people with all types of disabilities enjoy an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. Although progress has been slow, recognition of the ADA, as well as the potentials of people with disabilities, has improved. Events like this bring to life this progress.
In order to facilitate equal access to all event activities, the Illinois Department of Human Services will provide such reasonable accommodations as sign language interpreters, wheelchair access throughout the event space, on-site personal assistants (PAs), audio description of stage performances, informational materials in alternative formats such as Braille or large print and other accommodations upon advance request. Exhibitors are also asked to provide printed materials in alternative formats.
Workshops are typically hosted at the ADA Celebration event focusing on various subjects related to the Americans with Disabilities Act to include:
. ADA Legal Update to include the provisions of the ADA Amendments Act and recent regulations on Titles I, II and III in partnership with Equip for Equality and the Illinois ADA Project.
. Employment Panel to discuss resources for identifying employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Some of the workshops are typically broadcasted, via videoconference hookup to Springfield, IL.
Arts & Access
An art exhibit featuring visual and literary artworks created by professional and non-professional artists with disabilities is typically be on display. The exhibit celebrates the artistic vision of people with disabilities providing an opportunity for them to express how the ADA has impacted upon their lives. Exhibitors include both independent artists, as well as artists participating through organizations which serve people with disabilities. Most art work is for sale and all proceeds go directly to the artists. Also, in past years, there was a hands-on component on the day of the Celebration to allow individuals to create artwork.
In addition to its visual arts display, there are live entertainers featuring cross-cultural and cross-disability performers in an outdoor arena near the large sculpture in front of the Thompson Center. The show features both dance and music.
Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
A three-on-three Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, made possible through a partnership with the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association (NEDSRA) and the Chicago Park District, will take place in the outdoor arena near the large sculpture.
Approximately 40 exhibitors offering programs and services for people with disabilities share information with event attendees, as well as illustrate how they continue to comply with ADA legislation. State and local government offices, as well as non-profit and other independent organizations, will be represented.
ADA Help Table
A variety of resources and information related to the ADA are available to event participants and guests compliments of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Here are the flyers for the event: