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25 Years Of The ADA On Tuesday's Acess Utah


On March 12, 1990, activists with disabilities pulled themselves up the 83 stone steps at the Capitol Building to demand equal rights. “The Capitol Crawl” symbolized the barriers confronting people with disabilities and helped propel the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. The bill passed on July 26, 1990.

For the 25th anniversary of the ADA, we’ll review the history and look to the future where problems remain: One in five Americans has a disability, and less than 20 percent of people with disabilities were employed in 2014, compared with 68 percent of those without disabilities. 31 percent of people with disabilities live below the poverty line.

Today on the program we speak with Sachin Pavithran, Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) and the Disability Policy Analyst for the Center for Persons with Disabilities. He was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Access Board where he currently serves as the Chairman of the agency.

Also joining the program is Dr Judith Holt, who currently serves as the interim director of the USU Center For Persons with Disabilities, directed multiple projects at the CPD and been a strong advocate for consumer direction and choice. Dr. Holt has developed numerous educational materials that focus on the key concepts of independent living. 
Gordon Richins, Consumer Liaison for the Center for Persons with Disabilities at USU, joins the panel as well. Richins' work aims to improve the relationships between projects, programs, and personnel with persons with disabilities, and the organizations that serve people with disabilities. In the past he has served as Board President for Options for Independence, as well as being involved in many other organizations.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.