Monday, July 26, 2010

ADA at Virtual Ability

Saturday there was a full day of presentations at the Virtual Ability Community in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the civil rights legislation that gave protection to the rights of persons with disabilities. The Sojourner Auditorium was filled with people for the presentations.

I was able to attend the 10:00 talk by Eve Mavin in Second Life (real-life: Cindy Tandy, LCSW, Ph.D.) whom is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Valdosta State University in Georgia). The talk and slides recounted the history of the poignant fight for rights for the disabled and also explained just who these people are and how long it took to obtain these rights. She reminded us of the deplorable conditions in which people lived in the distant and near past before they were recognized for their abilities.

Eve reminded us “Businesses and corporations have learned that it’s smart to hire people with disabilities — it improves their workforce and the performance of their bottom line dollar figure — people with disabilities are often better workers. They are on time and have fewer sick days than their temporarily-abled co-workers. Starting in 3 days, the National Council on Disability will host a conference in Washington DC in honor of the 20th anniversary of the ADA.

The “Summit” will be a national dialogue on disability policies and programs in the 21st century — to begin conversations about the future of disability laws. It was an inspiring speech pointing out that the law is in place but there is still much to be done. Gentle Heron said of the speech, “Wow I am impressed to see how the ADA has evolved. We have a way to go, but considering where treatment of people with disabilities used to be..... we've come a long way.”

You can find much information at Virtual Ability 53,148, 22. Take a walk around.

Gemma Cleanslate

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