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ADA author to speak at Dover's 25th anniversary celebration of landmark law

Courtesy: American Association of People with Disabilities

Former U.S Rep. Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act will speak at a 25th anniversary celebration of the ADA’s passage in Dover Saturday.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The regulation also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

After graduating college, the former California congressman applied to the Priesthood where his longstanding seizure disorder was officially diagnosed. Due to Canon law, he was rejected from the Priesthood because of his epilepsy.

Coelho, now retired and living in Rehoboth Beach, acknowledges that it’s important to commemorate the ADA but says there's still work to be done, including in the area of transportation.

“It’s hard for those of us with disabilities. We can’t get to the workplace, or get to the church or get to a movie theater,” he says. “I’m very far thinking. I look at things like the Google car. Technology is going to create means of transportation. What we have to do as the general public is to insist that the authorities permit that technology to work.”

Delaware’s 25th anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act kicks off at 11 am at Legislative Mall in Dover.

The family friendly event will feature the country’s first disability rights mobile museum.