Since the passage of the federal Americans with Disabilities
Act in 1990, revolutionary changes have occurred in
accessibility to public and private accommodations
for persons with disabilities.
When you see existing or new buildings with curb cuts,
ramps, Braille signs, telecommunications devices for
deaf people and other accessibility features for citizens
with disabilities, you are seeing ADA legislation in
Individuals with disabilities now experience the freedom
of movement, and all that goes with it including working,
shopping, visiting friends and relatives, that the
rest of society has always enjoyed.
Here at the Office for the Physically Challenged,
one of our most important tasks is to help governments
and private owners comply with the law. We also inform
businesses of the generous tax benefits and incentives
available to help defray their costs.
We stress that complying with the law doesn't have
to be prohibitively expensive. In fact, it' s simply
good business. In a society which requires the talents
of all its citizens, 54 million Americans with disabilities
comprise an impressive and largely untapped work force
and consumer market.
If you are a private owner or a government official,
we want to help you comply with the law. To help us
do the job effectively, we ask that you submit all
questions to us in writing. We will respond promptly
The Office of the Physically Challenged wants all
of our citizens to be included in the social, economic
and cultural life of our communities. The full inclusion
now required by the law benefits all citizens. Negative
attitudes and structural barriers traditionally placed
limitations on the capacities of individuals with disabilities
to live, work and play side by side with the rest of
us. Studies have shown that $195 billion in
earnings and taxes are lost each year because of unemployment
among people with disabilities. Our role is to help
individuals with disabilities help themselves by assisting
businesses, consumer facilities and government agencies
to modify their policies, practices and procedures
as well as remove structural barriers where necessary.
Surely, full participation and equal opportunities
in the work force, consumer markets, educational realm
and technology revolution enrich the fabric of our
society as well as empower people with disabilities
to realize individual potentials.