SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring July 26, 2023, as “Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day” in the State of California.
The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:
As the epicenter of the disability rights movement for more than 50 years, California is proud to celebrate the important contributions that people with disabilities have made and continue to make to our communities, our state, and our nation. As we lift up these contributions to all facets of our society, including advances in civil rights as reflected in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to a California for all.
Signed into law on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The signing of this landmark legislation was the result of a concerted mobilization effort started by those in the disability rights movement who had spent decades pushing back against a society that did not include them, and that too often discriminated against them. Before the ADA, people with disabilities did not have equal access to employment, telecommunications, transportation, and public services and accommodations. The passage of the ADA removed barriers for people with disabilities and ushered in a new era of inclusion and integration in all aspects of life.
Among those at the forefront of the disability rights movement were many Californians who fought hard to see the ADA become reality, including: Ed Roberts, known as the father of the independent living movement; activist Eleanor Riese, who helped to change the laws regarding the use of psychotropic medications in treating people with mental health disabilities; and Congressman Tony Coelho, who sponsored the ADA in the U.S. House of Representatives. These individuals and others sacrificed, resisted, and demanded an end to the injustice and bias that people with disabilities experienced.
As we celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the ADA and its transformative impacts on the lives of countless Americans, we also acknowledge that there is more work to do. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are integral parts of our ongoing work to build a California for all. My administration is working to expand educational opportunities, employment options, health and homecare access, civil rights, and community living for people of all ages with disabilities. The state also continues to prioritize accessibility of all state services and is deepening our commitment to employment opportunities for people with disabilities within state service. All people with disabilities – whether visible or invisible, mobility or cognitive, vision or hearing, learning or sensory, developmental or acquired – contribute to the diversity and strength of California.
California is committed to fulfilling the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that all Californians, including those with disabilities, have equitable access to achieving their dreams and living the lives they desire.
NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim July 26, 2023, as “Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 25th day of July 2023.
GAVIN NEWSOMGovernor of California
ATTEST:SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D. Secretary of State