Celebrate the ADA!

30 years of Community Access, Independent Living, Employment and Action

ADA30 logo with circle of stars

Americans with Disabilities Act: Celebrate the ADA! July 26, 2020

Idahoans are celebrating 30 Years of Community Access, Independent Living, Employment and Activism through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The COVID-19 pandemic means we’re adapting plans for “Hands Around the Capitol 2020” to create a series of online events, beginning in July and continuing until the end of October. We welcome your involvement!

The ADA means people with disabilities are treated the same way as others. We’ll use social media  to share stories of how the ADA empowers us to live the lives we want, and to celebrate the people who made it all possible.

The law expanded opportunities for 304,000 Idahoans with disabilities by reducing barriers, changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life. The ADA’s promise can only be reached through shared to fully implement the ADA through education and outreach.

To help celebrate, follow activities on social media:

#ThanksToTheADA #ADA30Idaho #WhatTheADAMeansToMe

For more information or to share your stories, contact 

ADA Tax Credits for Small Businesses

TAX INCENTIVES are available to encourage compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This chart includes the Federal tax incentives and encourages you to inquire whether your state offers similar incentives. Unfortunately, many business owners and employers are unaware that these incentives exist. Make sure your business takes advantage of these valuable incentives!”

https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax

See also Ramp Up Idaho

Poor Planning Creates Barriers

Beyond a focus on Fair Housing law, we all need to be aware of barriers to community mobility as well. During a 2019 access audit of a new subdivision in Boise’s Harris Ranch, planning and design barriers were evident throughout the ‘walk and roll’ event. From the absence of Greenbelt access indicators to steep connecting ramps, missing or misaligned curb cuts, and even surface materials, we encountered multiple opportunities for improved mobility and access.

Images of the bridge connecting the neighborhood with foothills trails. Upper left shows the small front wheels of a wheelchair trapped in the bridge deck grating; right and lower left photos shows bridge decking with participants looking on as the tip of a white cane gets caught in the decking, and guide dog avoiding the decking surface. Take the bridge decking in the photo at left. The openings are the perfect size to trap small front wheels on a manual chair or swallow the tip of a cane. It’s also a surface service dogs might perceive as unsafe. This is a perfect example of the need to include a range of voices in the planning process. Problems can be addressed before injury occurs.

Until you’ve tried to navigate your community without full vision, hearing or mobility, access is often an afterthought. And remember, construction can create life-threatening barriers and hazards, as in this 2018 story about ongoing problems with road construction in and around Boise.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Boise construction zone tricky for people with disabilities

Highway signs in the path of travel can trip a pedestrian or force them into the roadway. This is not a mere incovenience; it can create a life-threatening situation. We all need to increase our access awareness and take an active role in creating barrier-free communities.

Navigating a maze of randomly placed construction barriers.

ACHD contractors place barricades and signs at random, creating seious hazards for pedestrians and cyclists.

Community Mobility: You can make a difference

A public service announcement on behalf of your neighbors with different abilities.

Morgan Romero was a reporter with Idaho’s KTVB News Group before relocating to the Portland market. Big thanks to folks like Morgan who help shed light on community access issues and solutions. Whether it’s garbage bins, construction signage, rental bikes or e-scooters, maintaining a clear path for pedestrians of all abilities is serious business and a shared responsibility. Whether or not we’re directly impacted, we can all be allies. When moving through your neighborhood, workplace or community, imagine doing so from a wheelchair, without hearing or vision, or with some other navigational challenge.

‘This impacts people’s independence’: Tigard dad raising awareness about dangers of blocking sidewalks

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/dad-wants-roads-kept-clear/283-bc6d9b8c-09a8-4fef-bb1e-91efe4863e99