The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrated its 25th year of coming into law last month, and while it has changed countless lives, it has become apparent that inclusion loopholes still exist.
We're slowly seeing models with disabilities incorporated in fashion and marketing commercials, but this needs to become the norm, and not seen as future-forward thinking. Employ People with Disabilities -- They Are Ambitious and Want to Work According to NPR, "fewer than one in five disabled adults are employed." CNN Money also stated that, "disabled workers earn about $9,000 less a year than non-disabled workers, according to Census data on median earnings.
That gap was under $6,000 in the early 1990s." The disability community is still discriminated against at work from being refused a job or denied a final interview.
But when it comes down to it, employers need to see a person, including his/her disability, as an asset and not a potential liability. Increase Disability Representation in Political Setting Can you think of many politicians or government officials -- local, state, to national level -- who live with a disability?
If you look hard enough you will begin to see the variety of disabilities many people live with who work inside a political office.
How could an able-bodied actor play a character with a disability better than a person living under those circumstances?
And even at that, our media needs to do a better job at accepting disability as a human condition instead of a flaw and imperfection. Provide College Scholarships to Athletes With Disabilities Athletes with disabilities should be scouted and receive scholarships based on their athletic abilities by their chosen school.In addition, voter competency for people with intellectual disabilities was challenged and some people were turned away. How can the community be embraced if their civic background is never taught?Throughout general education, the Americans with Disabilities Act has not been widely taught to students within their curriculum. I learned in depth about the Voting Rights Act in middle school, but not until college did I begin to learn about the ADA, and that was in an intermediate class.Having kids with and without disabilities learning side-by-side helps everybody appreciate the talents and gifts all kids bring with them.As a society, we have the responsibility to promote the inclusion of our differences. Employ More Actors With Disabilities in Mainstream Media We need to see more actors with disabilities playing actual character roles of people who disabilities.When I was a senior in high school, regardless that I was selected to represent Team USA in international meets, I was never scouted nor received a college scholarship offer for my athletic abilities because my times never compared to my able-bodied counterparts. Make Air Travel Universally Accessible Many people with disabilities are active business people with vibrant careers who are respected in their various fields.