On the ADA’s 33rd Anniversary, Aiming for Greater Inclusivity, Equality and Fairness
Peri Nearon, Executive Director / Division of Disability Services
July 26, 2023
Today, July 26th, marks the 33rd anniversary of the ADA. That’s 33 years of changing lives and perceptions, of equal access and of making clear that we as a society will always stand for the rights of our family members, friends, neighbors, and countless people we’ve never met to live fulfilling lives.
The ADA ensures that individuals with disabilities can participate in the world around them, and has likely changed lives in ways many could not have imagined when it became law in 1990, but while we pause each July to remember the benefits of the ADA and its importance, we also must honor its ideals each and every day of the year.
The ADA provides clear and comprehensive national standards to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. As a result, individuals with disabilities can live in their homes and have equal access to education, jobs, recreation, shopping and entertainment. It has helped shape our nation, but the work is not done. We must remain steadfast to the principles, aiming for greater inclusivity, equality and fairness.
I have the honor of being the Executive Director of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services (DDS), which provides a single point-of-entry for New Jerseyans seeking information about the various programs, services and supports available to residents with disabilities. Focused on promoting independence for individuals with disabilities in all areas of life, DDS works to streamline the pathway to information and services and to advance policies, systems and environmental changes promoting access, equity and inclusion.
Through our toll free hotline, 1-888-285-3036, you can connect with live, professionally certified, Community Resource Specialists specifically trained in disability services and prepared to address your needs and concerns.
We also publish New Jersey Resources, a comprehensive guide to services available throughout the state. You can download a copy here.
Happy 33rd ADA Anniversary! Now, let’s roll up our sleeves as there is much more work to do.
Peri L. Nearon, MPA
Executive Director, Division of Disability Services