Gov. Markell celebrates ADA's 25th anniv. in weekly message
July 26th marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act – something Gov. Jack Markell has been celebrating this past week.
“Educational and government programs, building access, transportation and adaptive technology have all helped individuals with disabilities achieve a far greater quality of life,” said Markell.
In his weekly message, Markell reflects on the progress made by Americans with disabilities, but noted there’s more work that needs to be done.
Last Tuesday, he joined U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former Sen. Tom Harkin on a panel to urge businesses to hire those with disabilities, saying they could help with their bottom line.
Full text of Gov. Markell's weekly message:
Twenty-five years ago, the landmark American with Disabilities Act helped spur a transformation in the way of life for millions of our citizens. Educational and government programs, building access, transportation and adaptive technology have all helped many individuals with disabilities achieve a far greater quality of life.
While we celebrate our progress, we have more to do to ensure people with disabilities reach their potential. That includes recognizing that too many are unemployed, despite untapped talents that are valued in the marketplace.
Earlier this week, I joined U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin to commemorate the anniversary of the ADA and talk about ways to build on recent momentum to increase job opportunities. We have seen states and businesses show that hiring people with disabilities is good for the bottom line, improving our workforce while increasing financial independence for these new employees. Delaware and other states are following the blueprint of a National Governors Association initiative I led – increasing job training services as well as other programs that help young people transition from high school to a job. IT firms SAP, CAI, and others are working with Delaware-based Specialisterne to employ hundreds of people with autism in the next few years. They join an ever-growing list of companies, including Walgreens, Microsoft, Bank of America, Chase, and Highmark that recognize that people who may not have gotten a chance before are often best-qualified for many jobs.
Over the past twenty-five years, we have made great strides in fostering an environment that is welcoming and supportive of individuals with disabilities. By building on our efforts to create a more inclusive society we will keep Delaware and our country moving forward.