It’s now been a quarter-century since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, and dozens turned out to celebrate the landmark law in Reading on Friday.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act removed barriers for persons with disabilities to participate in all facets of American life”, said Commissioner Pam Stewart.

“The continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue those opportunities for which our free society is justifiably famous”, says the law, signed by President George H.W. Bush.

People with disabilities, including graduating students with disabilities, expect and want to join the American workforce in competitive, integrated employment. “Getting people included in society means welcoming those folks with differences and including them in the community”. ADA helped give more people “a sense of independence and helped remove the stigma associated with having a disability”, he said.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon created the Partnership for Hope, which provides home- and community-based services to Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families. On the eve of the anniversary of the ADA, NCD reaffirms our commitment to these core areas, and remains unwavering in our support of policies that support the goals of the ADA – equality of opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency.