July 26, 2021
The City of Long Beach is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31st Anniversary. Today, we celebrate this important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

In honor of the 31st anniversary of the ADA and in recognition of Disability Pride Month, the City of Long Beach took several notable steps in July towards greater access and inclusion:

On July 6th, the City Council voted unanimously for the City of Long Beach to join the Cities for All Global Compact on Inclusive & Accessible Cities. Introduced by Councilwoman Mary Zendejas, Council District 1, this Compact is a declaration that aligns key commitments to accessibility, universal design and inclusion within the sustainable Development Goals, The New Urban Agenda, The convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the World Health Organization's Age Friendly Cities Framework. It affirms the rights of 1 billion persons with disabilities (50,000 in Long Beach) and the increasing share of the global population aged 60 or older that experience barriers to their equitable participation in society. This global call to action lies at the core of the #Cities4All campaign. As a signatory, Long Beach commits to the 6 principles of the Compact, including 1) Non-discrimination; 2) Accessibility; 3) Participation; 4) Inclusive Urban Policies & Programs; 5) Capacity Building; and 6) Data for Development.

On July 13th, the City Council approved a feasibility study for an accessible mat at Granada Beach. Introduced by Councilwoman Suzie Price, this report is due back to Council within 30 days and could bring access to our beaches in way that has never been available before.

On July 20th, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson invited the Citizen's Advisory Commission on Disabilities (CACoD) to give a commission update to the Mayor and City Council. The report was given by CACoD Chair Nubia Flores, and highlighted all of the work that CACoD continues to do on behalf of the disability community. The anniversary of the ADA was also recognized and celebrated during this presentation.

The ADA continues to break down barriers everyday, and has made a world of difference to millions of people since it was signed into law by president George H.W. Bush in 1990. It has helped us navigate and change the built environment for the better, including curb ramps at street intersections and braille in elevators; ramps at building entrances and designated spaces on public transportation; effective communication requirements and equal access to public programs. The ADA provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. We still have far to go to achieve full access and inclusion, but today, let's celebrate how far we've come.

#ADA31 #ThanksToTheADA