Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

Event in South Park to celebrate 20th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

July 22, 2010, 3:56 p.m. Updated July 23, 2010, 9:59 a.m.


The right for those in wheelchairs to eat at restaurants and vote at the polls, the ability for someone who is deaf to order pizza by phone, and the sea change that established those with disabilities as a class of people.

All those came about because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Dot Nary, who uses a wheelchair.

In the 20 years since it was signed into law, the ADA has helped the country break down both physical and societal barriers.

“Even though it didn’t accomplish all that I hoped and in some ways was weakened along the way, overall it is a watershed moment in terms of people with disabilities,” Nary said.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the law and change that came with it, the Lawrence disability community is hosting a celebration Monday night at South Park.

The event, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will include speeches, live music, refreshments and drawings for door prizes. If there is rain, the celebration will be held at St. John Catholic Church, 1229 Vermont St.


Tom McCune 7 years, 4 months ago

In large, new, public buildings located on flat sites, the ADA is fairly easy to comply with. In small, privately owned, existing buildings on sloping sites it can be impossible. As PC as it may sound, the ADA is one more erosion of private property rights.

Dining in a restaurant which is operated by a private party and located in a privately-owned building should be a private and voluntary business transaction between buyer and seller. If either doesn't want to do business with the other for any reason, then the government should stay out of it. If the restaurant is operated by a public entity or located in a public building, then it is reasonable to require things like the ADA, since public money is involved and it is no longer a purely private transaction.

fallingwhilereading 7 years, 4 months ago

newell I can guess you are so far to the right national socalist would call you worse then a Nazi. It was Goerge senior who pushed the ADA through into law. I am sure you foolish self didn't relize it was a Republican who fought for disabled right. Newell more like nazi. I am sure you would send the disabled to death camps like the National Socialist state of germany did under Hitler

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

oh yeah, I see Failingwhilereading is back.

hey bub, calling NP a NAZI only makes you look really dense.

so, is Clint Eastwood also a NAZI, then?

apparently Failingwhile reading supports the "trawlers" who just drive around the country, usually being paraplegic males, looking for a suit to file?
NP just described the case of a very old drive-through burger joint from where I grew up. last I heard they were about to close because a trawler drove into town, filed a lawsuit and left. it's an old building, all the design of the building and even the parking lot are not wheelchair accessible.
now a beloved old burger joint of well over fifty years is shut down. this relly helps the disabled?

furthermore, one unintended consequence of the ADA is that frequently employers are less likely to hire people with disabilities because these employers are concerned about potential lawsuits. potential employers are also concerned about the extra paperwork.
Failingwhilereading needs some reality. also, needs to learn some tolerance for the views of others.

inklines 7 years, 4 months ago

As a productive, gainfully employed person with a disability, I have found that my greatest obstacle is not my limitations, but the apathy and prejudice of those who are not disabled. I have had to fight for promotions, even the right to work. ADA may not be perfect law. It has loopholes; it has flaws that lazy and unscrupulous people shamefully flaunt to their advantage and others pain. This is true of other laws and government programs as well. You can not legislate personal integrity. That being said, ADA is still law that produces a better society than the one that existed before it. It protects disabled citizens right to work and right to access.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 4 months ago

That is what the intention was, but have to agree about prejudice, how easy it is for some to apply this concept to other causes while not to this situation. Access is a major issue for many. I have entered restraunts that one could never get a wheel chair into.

ozmaster2 7 years, 4 months ago

First, Christine, isn't the phrase "sea change", not "seed change"? I saw that sign at South Park yesterday and I thought, 1990? Is that possible? The ADA law is only 20 years old? I admit that I am not in the loop about the issues that affect our disabled community, but I lean toward the attitude of "tough" on you business owners who don't comply. My sister had cerebral palsy and she had to work hard to make her own daughter's private school in St. Louis wheelchair accessible. Sadly, my sister is recently deceased so she is not alive to celebrate this landmark achievement. And I am going out of town and won't be down at the park on Monday for the local event. But wherever I might be on Monday, perhaps I'll be in an enlightened community where there will be some other local event and I can share in it there.

wmathews 7 years, 4 months ago

Correct. "Seed change" is an eggcorn for "sea change." I've changed the story to reflect the error.

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

roosmom 7 years, 4 months ago

Volumes are spoken when someone speaks about "property rights" over "people's rights." Sad, very sad.

gatekeeper 7 years, 4 months ago


It seems like we are going backwards, not forwards.

My mother can only get around now using a walker or the motorized carts in stores. She's only in her late 70's and her mind is good, she just has terrible arthritis. If I couldn't take her out shopping and to other places each week, I honestly don't think she'd chose to continue to live. Thank goodness that public businesses have to have ramps, handicapped parking, etc.... The people that put property over people will probably sing a different tune one day when they aren't able to climb stairs, walk far, etc....

MBH12 7 years, 4 months ago

A fable set in Newell's myopic world--- A man opens a privately owned restaurant on private property and refuses to serve the disabled. His customers have difficulty entering his business, however, because of all those annoying people in wheelchairs picketing his establishment on the public sidewalks. Those customers who do manage to get inside may very well find themselves getting ill from eating rancid food--there being no FDA to set food guidelines.
That food was possibly prepared by children forced to work for pennies a day in unsanitary conditions--there being no child labor laws, no minimum wage and no OSHA... Perhaps one of the patrons wealthy enough to purchase medical treatment survives....but what is he to do? There is no legal recourse against what a person does in his privately owned restaurant... The patron may feel the need to take matters into his own hands and buy a gun from the vending machine on the corner and shoot the restaurant owner... One has his private property, the other his Second Amendment... Hopefully, the restaurant owner will not suffer injuries which leave him in a wheelchair...

No ill-will intended to anyone... merely a fable...

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 4 months ago

Forgive them. They know not what they do. Lawrence is the most prejudiced place I've ever tried to live. Most people just want to be treated the same as everyone else. That's impossible if local norms require that we regard some as so needy they need and should be grateful for help from complete strangers in public. Such attitudes bespeak offensive and politically incorrect ignorance. It's illegal to regard and treat someone as having a disability-- in truth a main cause of disability and '' help'' that's no help--an actual insult and barrier to equal opportunity. Please respect boundaries and don't get so personal.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

here is an excellent link:

highlights how the ADA spawned many thousands of such sleezy lawsuits.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

public businesses have to have ramps, handicapped parking, etc.... The people that put property over people will probably sing a different tune one day when they aren't able to climb stairs, walk far, etc....

---it's called the U.S. constitution, including due process and other property rights.
yes, it is better when businesses have ramps, elevators. however, sometimes an historic structure is simply not cost effective to put in a quarter-million-dollar-elevator!

and it is wrong that these trawlers go from town to town just trying to hit businesses, essetially for lawyers' profits and to try to do some kind of campaign.

funny, liberals always say they're for the little guy, and the "working man." yet, such problems actually throw people out of work. and losing property rights hurts everyone!

don't sell out the constitution for feel-good.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.