July—A Time to Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Independence

Americans with Disabilities Act

American with Disabilities Act logo

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped increase independence and improve equality for individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, healthcare, education, public transportation, and recreation for 26 years. Now, the expectation of employment and access to technology is the norm for individuals with vision loss, not the exception. Does this mean that everyone with a disability who wants to work is employed? Unfortunately, no. However, the protections put in place by the ADA in 1990 and the subsequent revisions and regulations give you, as a person with vision loss, a platform from which to start.

Change does not happen overnight, nor over a couple of decades, but progress is being made. As we celebrate the anniversary of the historic civil rights legislation for people with disabilities, we must strive for a tomorrow where similarities among people are noticed rather than differences, and everyone is given the chance to reach their full potential.

We would love to hear your voice, your experience, and your thoughts. From your frustration with locating restrooms and accessing public transportation, to your gratitude for reasonable accommodations on the job, share why you're thankful for the ADA and where there's room for improvement on the VisionAware message boards.

To learn more about the ADA, read the following blog posts and please feel free to comment:

Celebrating Independence—VisionAware Peers Demonstrate It’s More Than the 4th of July

The VisionAware peer advisors felt that July would be a perfect month to focus on the independence series. Read these posts and more from our peers!

Medical Research and Updates on the VisionAware Blog

Be sure to read about:

Congratulations to Maureen Duffy

Maureen Duffy receiving Susan and Paul Ponchillia Publication Award from Jennifer Ottowitz and Paul Ponchillia

The American Foundation for the Blind and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation wish to congratulate Maureen Duffy on winning three prestigious awards this year in recognition of her outstanding work in the field of low vision and blindness. Ms. Duffy, M.S., CVRT, is the writer/editor of the VisionAware blog, and the chief creator of the site’s editorial content. Recently, Ms. Duffy was announced as the winner of:

  1. The Salus University inaugural "Blindness and Low Vision Studies Alumna of the Year" award in recognition of her dedication in building the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy program at the university, and of her role in educating students and professionals across the country,
  2. the AER Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Division "Susan and Paul Ponchillia Publication Award" for her book, Making Life More Livable, and
  3. the AER Low Vision Division award for "Outstanding Contributions to Literature and/or Research in Low Vision"—in recognition particularly for her work on VisionAware and with the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB).

Congratulations, Maureen—mentor, teacher, provider, author—on these well-deserved awards. We are proud of your work on VisionAware, bringing professional and practical help—and hope—to people with vision loss.

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