To the Editor: The Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living and its advocate partner, the Accessible Cities Alliance, will celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 23. This celebration will be held at the Motherhouse on the University of St. Francis campus located at 500 Wilcox in Joliet from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Signed into law on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, transportation and communication based on disability. Understanding that it would take time for regulations to be implemented, entities were given time and resources to come into compliance with the Act’s requirements.
Begun in 2003, the Accessible Cities Alliance works to inform public accommodations about their responsibilities under the ADA. Examples include ensuring that accessible parking is available, entrances to facilities are accessible, and there is easy access to goods and services. The ACA provides information to such entities as they improve access to their customers with disabilities.
The ACA has asked all cities in Will and Grundy counties to proclaim July 21-27 as “Accessibility Awareness Week.” In 2012, a large number of municipalities issued such proclamations. The ACA is hopeful that the number of participating cities will increase this year. With 1 in 5 people having some form of disability, awareness about access in public accommodations is of the upmost importance.
Municipalities that may have questions are encouraged to call the Center at (815)729-0162. The ACA believes that good access means good business. We invite you to join us in this effort to make our communities accessible for all citizens.