Justice For All


ADA Celebrations


Contact: Jennifer Sheehy, sheehy-jennifer@dol.gov
Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities 202/693-4940

WASHINGTON, DC - A coalition of disability rights organizations today announced its plans to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 25th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on July 25 and 26th.

The two-day celebration in Washington will include events on Capitol Hill, the FDR Memorial, Gallaudet University and the Endependence Center of Northern Virginia. The Washington events are part of a national "Spirit of ADA" Torch Relay organized by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), covering 24 U.S. cities, commemorating the two important anniversaries. The torch, which began its journey June 11 in Houston, will enter the nation's capital on July 25th, to depart for destinations along the northeastern seaboard on July 27th (see attached schedule of cities).

The theme of the events, 'Renew the Pledge,' was adopted by the organizations in an effort to coalesce support for the goals of the ADA and IDEA by renewing America's commitment to equality of opportunity, full participation and economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities. Organizers wish to revive the same spirit of full access to individuals with disabilities that led Congress to pass and President George Bush to sign the ADA in 1990. President Bush lit the torch during a formal kickoff ceremony in Houston in February. "This law is the most significant Civil Rights legislation since the 1960s," said Becky Ogle, Task Force Executive Director. "It benefits not only those with disabilities but all Americans, and we invite everyone to participate in the celebration."

In order to assist media interested in covering this historic anniversary, the TaskForce will serve as a resource of information. Contact Jennifer Sheehy at 202/693-4940 for the following:

* information on the ADA and IDEA
* local and national stories of individuals with disabilities who have benefited from the ADA
* statistics on disability and employment
* details about the anniversary events


July 25th, 2000:
9:00 AM - The torch arrives at the Endependence Center of Northern Virginia from South Carolina. The hand off is followed by a press conference at the Center and tour with the theme of Universal Design.

10:30 AM - Following the press conference, the torch will be taken from the Center to the west side of the Memorial Bridge where it will be carried across by a group of children with and without disabilities to the FDR Memorial.

10 AM to 12 PM - FDR Memorial - Official DC event welcoming the torch with the theme, "Honoring the Heroes," a tribute to the Congressmen, Bush administration and Washington advocates whose work secured the passage of the ADA. Organized by the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities and the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). Tony Coelho, vice-chairman of the Task Force, will serve as emcee.

12 PM to 2 PM - The National Council on Disability will host a lunch honoring the Leadership Council for Civil Rights at the Marriott Metro Center.

2:30 PM to 5 PM - Gallaudet University event: panel discussion on the future of ADA implementation followed by a picnic/festival for families.

6 PM to 8 PM - National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) annual conference is kicked off with a plenary session at the Renaissance hotel where the torch will be presented to Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa .

July 26th, 2000:

11 AM - March from Lafayette Park to the west face of the Capitol organized by NCIL. Signed pledges by elected officials to renew the commitment to implement the ADA and IDEA collected from across the country will be delivered to congressional members.

6 PM - Black tie gala organized by AAPD, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and NCIL, to be held at Union Station.

** Times subject to change

Volkswagen of America is the title sponsor of the torch relay. National sponsors include the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, Accesslife.com, Microsoft, Continental Airlines, and the Shepherd Center. Local events are made possible by major support from Bell Atlantic, AAPD, CCD, Gallaudet University, NCIL, and the Task Force, with generous support from American Public Transportation Association, Fore All!, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Visual Language Interpreting, and VSA Arts.

"Spirit of ADA"Torch Relay Schedule

1. June 11th.....Houston
2. June 13th.......Austin, TX
3. June 17th.......San Francisco, CA
4. June 19th.......Los Angeles, CA
5. June 21st.......Phoenix, AZ
6. June 24th.......Salt Lake City, UT
7. June 27th.......Denver, CO
8. June 30th.......Topeka, KS
9. July 4th..........St. Louis, MO
10. July 7th..........Madison, WI
11. July 9th..........Chicago, IL
12. July 11th........Memphis, TN
13. July 13th........Jackson, MS
14. July 15th........Montgomery, AL
15. July 17th........Tallahassee, FL
16. July 19th........Warm Springs, GA
17. July 20-21st....Atlanta, GA
18. July 22nd.......Columbia, SC
19. July 25th........Arlington, VA
20. July 26th........Washington, DC
21. July 29th........Philadelphia, PA
22. July 31st........Auburn Hills/Detroit MI
23. August 3rd.....Boston, MA
24. August 6-7th..New York

Fred Fay
Chair, Justice For All

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