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4 ways the ADA has Changed our World

July 15, 2015

Although it’s not something folks generally celebrate, July 26, 1990 was a pretty important day in history. That’s the day the Americans with Disabilities Act — commonly known as the ADA — was signed into law. Many people might not fully realize the importance of this Act, but for those who do, the beneficial impacts are tremendous.

Hoveround is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and these are the 4 Ways the ADA Has Changed Our World:

1. Employment

Imagine trying to get a job for which you meet the qualifications and you’re called in for an interview but when the hiring manager notices your wheelchair, you suddenly don’t seem like a desirable employee. Your inability to walk long distances has no effect on the job duties, but your interview has been cut short.

Thanks to the ADA, there is equal employment opportunity for those with a disability — and discrimination in the workplace is prohibited.

Perhaps more importantly, the Americans with Disabilities Act means employers have to make reasonable accommodations to assist employees with disabilities. That could mean modifying the job and/or the schedule, making adjustments to equipment, providing interpreters, modifying training and more.

2. State and local government programs and services

Basically, everything your tax dollars helps fund must be easily accessible to those with a disability. Any programs, services and activities that are offered by the government, have to be able to be used by persons who use wheelchairs, are blind or deaf, have autism, or are affected by numerous other conditions that are classified as a disability.

That includes public transportation! Have you ever thought about how city buses have wheelchair ramps to allow for easy loading of your wheelchair or Hoveround power wheelchair? We have the ADA to thank for that!

3. Public accommodations

If you haven’t noticed, hallways in new public office buildings are a little less narrow than they were a few decades ago. And stores have wider aisles, with elevators and ramps to make it easier to maneuver a wheelchair or Hoveround power wheelchair around. Think about all the other things that are now better for people with disabilities: Like drinking fountains that are the perfect height for a wheelchair to fit beneath, a wide bathroom stall that easily fits a wheelchair, and sink counter heights that allow for someone in a wheelchair to be able to wash their hands.

In today’s construction, those types of additions are standard — because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Life becomes easier to navigate, and it makes things safer, too. (For tips to make your home safe to allow you to remain aging in place, read this.)

4. Telecommunications

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, talking on the phone used to be quite difficult — but now, because of the ADA, governments and businesses have the ability to use teletypewriters (TTY, also known as a TDD) rather than standard telephones. That way, both parties can use a keyboard to type their messages and have it relayed over a screen. In fact, Hoveround also has a TTY assistance operator (TDD) for the deaf you can use by calling us at (800) 701-3021.

Hoveround

The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 has made it possible for those with disabilities to no longer fear discrimination. It also removed barriers and provides easily accessible public areas. As a result, those with limited mobility can use a Hoveround power wheelchair to maneuver around as well. Call Hoveround today at (800) 542-7236 to talk to one of our mobility specialists to find out which product will help you to retain your independence!

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