Disability Awareness Month proclaimed as America celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
A 25th Anniversary celebration was part of today’s recognition by the Metropolitan King County Council of October as Disability Awareness Month in King County.
This year’s recognition highlights that 2015 is the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, (ADA) the national mandate to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
The proclamation recognizes efforts on both a local and national level to provide accommodations that allow those with physical, developmental and other disabilities to utilize their skills and talents and contribute to society.
“Providing equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities has a strong commitment from King County, bringing their special talents and the qualifications forward for getting the job done,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips. “This commitment to a capable and diverse workforce makes us stronger as a government and better able to serve the public.”
“I am proud that King County is a local, regional and national role model for hiring and utilizing the talents and skills of staff with disabilities,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague.
King County’s principles of equity and social justice focus on the inclusion of all people in the workplace. Jeff Casem, Disability Services Supervisor in King County’s Department of Executive Services, Human Resources Division, said these principles ensure that the county has a government that serves all of its citizens.
“King County is proud of its service to our community and our employees,” Casem said. “Everyone, regardless of disability, should have equal access to employment, transportation, housing, education, health care, recreation and cultural activities, and an opportunity to fulfill their potential.”
The Council proclamation encourages county residents to remember the spirit and principals of equality and inclusion that are the bedrock of the ADA.
“It is our responsibility as elected officials to ensure that every individual in our community has access to basic services and the opportunity to obtain employment, regardless of disability,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “By empowering our community, these individuals stand to gain a wealth of knowledge and self-worth that will encourage them to positively contribute to society.”
“The passage of the ADA was a major victory for the civil rights communities. It continued the struggle for the advancement of human rights for all people,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “However, with this twenty-fifth anniversary, we must renew our commitment to ensure that all people’s skills and talents are valued to make them contributors to our society and that resources are committed to ensure that happens.”
“The last 25 years have been enormously important in breaking down the barriers for individuals with disabilities,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I’m very proud of King County’s leadership in making this happen. We continue to strive to meet the special needs of our employees.”
“Twenty-five years of legislation promoting equality is something to celebrate,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I am proud that today in King County, those with disabilities are free to work and contribute to our society while protected by this important act.”
WHEREAS, this year, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the ADA and other disability access laws have expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers and changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life; and
WHEREAS, we are strengthened as a society by striving to ensure that everyone, regardless of disability, has equal access to employment, transportation, housing, education, health care, recreation, and cultural activities; and
WHEREAS, the full promise of the ADA will only be reached if we continue our efforts to fully implement it; and
WHEREAS, King County celebrates and recognizes the progress that has been made by reaffirming the principals of equality and inclusion and recommitting our efforts to reach full ADA compliance;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim October 2015 as
|DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH|
in King County and urge everyone to join us in reaffirming our determination to achieve a society that affords independence, justice, and dignity for all.
DATED this twelfth day of October 2015.