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Daily Newscasts

ADA: Nineteen Years of Progress in MI

July 27, 2009

LANSING, Mich. - The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) begins its 20th year as law this week, and advocates for people with disabilities in Michigan say it's made a huge difference there by prohibiting discrimination in a wide range of situations.

Peter Berg of the Great Lakes ADA Center says the law really is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation.

"The ADA, in fact, is a civil rights law, and it's based largely on the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s."

Berg says the law helped eliminate many barriers by banning discrimination in such things as employment, insurance, and government programs.

"This provided the ability to find gainful employment, the ability to access state and local government services, the ability to go to businesses, to go down to the corner grocery store, the ability to use transportation."

Maureen Arcand says the ADA has given her and others much more control over their own lives.

"It has given people a sense of empowerment over their own lives that is really very important."

Peter Berg says the Americans with Disabilities Act gave new freedom to people with disabilities, and it has made a huge difference in their lives.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - MI