The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by the United States Congress on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, housing and other sectors of public life, while also laying the groundwork for basic standards of accessibility to most services services for people with limited mobility. There are numerous examples of how this important civil rights legislation all around us. Our Metro buses and our Sound Transit Link Light Rail are all wheelchair accessible due to a specific article in the act relating to accessibility of public transportation. Landlords that might otherwise lease units with “no pets” policies, could be required to make an exception for someone who is blind and needing a guide dog in the residence. Many of these improvements have made life more accessible for everyone, regardless of age or ability. How helpful are curb cuts when you are hauling that roller-bag across town to catch the light rail to the airport , or when you are pushing the stroller and corralling the kids down to the waterfront to see the new Great Wheel?
Some people with disabilities require in-home care, which Council recently highlighted the importance of with Resolution 31388, supporting the Caring Across Generations campaign that seeks to transform long term care in the U.S., both to help the individuals who rely on these services and to support the workers who provide home care. Every person has been, is, or will be a caregiver, or will need care someday. Most primary caregivers are unpaid members of the family, friends, or neighbors.
Councilmembers Nick Licata, Sally Bagshaw and I are cosponsoring a brown bag forum next Tuesday, July 31 to learn more about the issues facing caregivers. You can join us in Council Chambers from 12:00-1:30.