Ginny Howe, DIDD’s East Regional Employment and Day Services Coordinator, attended Chattanooga’s ADA Celebration, and provided this account:
(Pictured: Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Ginny Howe)
The 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was Saturday, July 26. The ADA provides civil rights protections to persons with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA also assures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications. To commemorate the anniversary of this landmark law, the Chattanooga Mayor’s Council on Disability and the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted an ADA Celebration on Friday, July 25 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Waterhouse Pavilion/Miller Plaza in downtown Chattanooga. The event was free and open to the public. Esteemed guests included Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Miss Wheelchair Tennessee, Amanda Szidiropulosz.
(Pictured: Amanda Szidiropulosz, Miss Wheelchair Tennessee)
Rita’s Italian Ice offered free samples and Amy Kerin from Chattanooga Adventurers with Assistance Dogs shared resources and a demonstration. Green’s Karate and Rick Hall’s Tae Kwon Do also had some outstanding demonstrations that were crowd pleasers!!! Sign language interpreters were available throughout the day. It was truly a great day for all that were able to attend!
To me this event celebrated the progress made towards equality for people with disabilities. It was also an opportunity for Chattanoogans as a whole to learn more about the organizations and services available to assist people with disabilities in their own community, along with ways they can become involved. It not only celebrated the progress, but also highlighted people in the Chattanooga area who have used their disabilities as platforms and contributed to the greater good of their beloved community.