Philadelphia marks 20th birthday for A.D.A.

    There are lots o challenges retrofitting buildings in a city as old as Philadelphia.

    Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark legislation that grants disabled Americans equal rights. Local advocates will celebrate the milestone on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

    Liberty Resources provides services and legal counsel for disabled people in the Delaware Valley. C.E.O. Thomas Earle says the significance of the A.D.A. can’t be overstated.

    “For the disabled community, the A.D.A. is viewed and embraced as our civil rights.”

    Earle says the A.D.A. has ushered in historic protections for those with disabilities. But, he says, implementing the law in an old city like Philadelphia hasn’t always been easy.

    “The architecture throughout the city often has two, three, four steps. Sometimes even one step at the front door, and it doesn’t matter if it’s two inches or 12 inches, you can’t get in if you’re in a wheelchair.”

    Overall, Earle gives Philadelphia a C+ rating when it comes to making accommodations for disabled people. The event on the parkway will feature the band “Flame,” which is made up entirely of disabled musicians.

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