Tom Perez and Former Rep. Tony Coelho on ADA Anniversary
July 26, 2017
27 years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. DNC Chair Tom Perez and former Rep. Tony Coelho, Chair of the DNC Disability Council and the primary sponsor of the ADA, released the following statement celebrating this anniversary:
“Nearly three decades ago, protesters with disabilities converged on the nation’s capital to fight for one of the most important civil rights laws in our history – the Americans with Disabilities Act. With the ADA’s passage stalled in Congress, these brave protesters ascended the 83 steps of the United States Capitol – some even crawling to get to the top – so they could send a message to their representatives: no American should ever face discrimination based on their disability status. Their activism pushed the bill over the finish line and opened new doors of opportunity for the 57 million Americans who live with disabilities.
“On this anniversary, we celebrate the progress our country has made toward equality for the disability community, and we honor those Americans with disabilities who have fought so valiantly for their rights. But while the ADA was a landmark achievement, our work is not yet done. Today, we have a president who publicly ridicules people with disabilities. We have an Education Secretary who couldn’t say whether students with disabilities were protected under federal law. And we have Republicans in Congress who are trying to take health care away from as many as 32 million Americans and deny coverage to those who need it most. Make no mistake – the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the gravest attack on the disability community in a generation.
“The Democratic Party has been unwavering in our commitment to protect and expand the rights of people with disabilities. We will continue to fight back against President Trump’s vicious attacks, and we will build on the progress we’ve made from the earliest days of the disability rights movement through the Obama administration.”