americans with disabilities act

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The ADA prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability. It affords people with disabilities similar protections against discrimination as the 1964 Civil Rights act, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.

The ADA also requires covered employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities and requires accessibility in public places. 

Flickr user Don Harrison / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

One of the most profound changes in Michigan has been the way we care for and treat people who are developmentally disabled.

In 1970, there were 14,000 people living in 13 institutions in Michigan. Today, there are no institutions in the state with the last one being closed in 2009.

The State of Michigan is close to wrapping up a plan to make its programs more accessible to people with disabilities.

The goal is to get State offices, communications and web sites to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We wanted to get a better idea of what that really looks like, how much progress has been made and what it all means for people with disabilities.

Laura Hall is an Assistive Technology Coordinator for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, and Sharon Ellis is the State ADA Compliance Director. They both joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A suburban Detroit restaurant is paying a high price for refusing to serve a family of five. The federal government sued .alleging the restaurant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The incident occurred in 2011.

The manager of the Golden Corral in Westland asked a family of five to leave his restaurant after other diners complained about the appearance of the children’s skin. 

The family’s four children suffer from a genetic disorder (epidermolysis bullosa) that makes their skin blister.