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Service animals are a reliable resource for millions of Americans with disabilities; therefore, it is worth understanding their importance as it relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA not only sets the definition of a service animal, it also protects people with service animals from being discriminated against. A service animal is an animal that is trained to complete duties that assist people with disabilities including physical, mental, sensory, intellectual and psychiatric. Under the ADA, service animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in public spaces as long as the service animal is under control and does not compromise the health of the environment (such as keeping an operating room sterile).
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In 2008, I achieved my greatest athletic goal. I became a Paralympian. Shortly after I joined Team USA, I like most elite athletes, attended a media training session. I nervously sat in a beige hotel conference room, staring at the abstractly-designed carpet beneath my feet. 20 Paralympians surrounded me, representing almost every Paralympic sport. Gold medalists, world-record holders, the poster-children of the Games – we breathed the same air. Suddenly, the leader of the session walked in and began to speak.
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25 years ago, my life changed forever and I was not even born yet.
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This month we celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) 25th anniversary! The ADA was created in 1990 to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as people without disabilities. This includes the opportunity to live a healthy life!
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To help frame the contents of this blog posting, I am using quotes from Ed Roberts. If you don’t know who Ed is, you really should. Stop reading this blog and Google him. He is regarded highly alongside other civil rights leaders for all he had done for people with disabilities.
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“You have to watch this video.”
I heard that half a dozen times this week, and I said it half a dozen other times to other people. I posted it on my social media sites. It made me want to buy shoes. It made me want to buy Nike shoes … forever.
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In this month of July in which we celebrate the 25th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there have been many small events that are instrumental in reflecting the benefits of ADA. One of those events was the Academy Award nominated documentary film called “Murderball.” It was on July 8, 2005 that it was released nation-wide to mainstream audiences. The impact of this documentary is still being felt today.
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Employers these days are aware of the fact that hiring adults with disabilities adds value to their business. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, “a covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability.” This is applicable to job application procedures, recruitment, job training, and advancement and discharge of employees etc.
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With the 25th year of celebration for the Americans with Disabilities Act in full swing, I would be remiss if failed to mention a historical event that very much smacks of the rewards and benefits of the ADA.
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We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has brought about monumental changes in the lives of people with a disability in the past couple of decades. Medical advancement and extensive research offer better treatment of disability-inducing traumas like spinal cord and sports injuries.
Thanks to the ADA, businesses and all public places are equally accessible now, and there are tough laws prohibiting any form of discrimination against people with disability.