Pennsylvania House Calls for Disabilities Act Awareness
Commemoration of July 26, 1990 Passage of Federal Act
HARRISBURG (July 3) – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has declared Friday, July 26, 2013, as Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness (ADA) Day, marking the 23rd anniversary of passage of the landmark federal legislation.
Authored by state Rep. Kevin Haggerty of Lackawanna County, the House resolution notes than an estimated 475,000 of Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million residents live with a disability and enjoy the protections offered under ADA.
“We appreciate that Rep. Haggerty and the members of the state House of Representatives understand the importance of ADA to so many Pennsylvanians whose lives it touches on a daily basis,” said Lynn Keltz, executive director of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association (PMHCA) and director of the Stigma Project, a project of the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) aimed at increasing public awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities.
“While the Americans with Disabilities Act clearly prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, telecommunications and access, we know we have a way to go towards full acceptance in the community.”
Keltz noted that while federal statistics identify only about 5 percent of Pennsylvanians as living with a disability, a recent random statewide survey by the Stigma Project indicated that 23 percent self-identify themselves as having lived with a long-term disability and another 28 percent said that a member of their immediate family has lived with a disability.
“Physical, mental or intellectual disabilities touch us all on a daily basis,” Keltz said. “The Americans with Disabilities Act has made it possible for millions to live life more fully but there’s more to be done. Awareness is the first step.”
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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Lynn Keltz, 717-564-4930
Tony May, 717-238-2970, ext. 229
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