DENVER (CBS4) – The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 28 years ago. There are 10 centers across the country charged with educating the public, employers, and people with disabilities about the Act.
“We serve everyone. The Americans with disabilities acts touches everyone. We answer questions from businesses, from school districts, governments, and people with disabilities or their families and loved ones,” said Dana Baron, Director of the Rocky Mountain ADA.
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center has offices in Colorado Springs and serves Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Dana Barton is the new director. The Center offers technical assistance, training, and research services for free.
“People with disabilities, that’s the largest minority group in the country, and we should really be making sure we’re being inclusive of people with disabilities whether it’s the sidewalks, bus stops, entering a business, a restaurant, all through everything we do, every day,” said Baron.
The ADA represents the largest minority group in Colorado and the nation. It works to level the playing field for people who live everyday with disabilities by requiring public buildings and sidewalks be accessible. The law also calls for employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help this population hold meaningful jobs.
“You don’t realize all the ways our world is inaccessible until you need, or have a family member with a disability that needs it (help),” said Baron.
In the last few years, the Rocky Mountain ADA Center has fielded a wide range of questions about what constitutes a service dog, and what questions can and can’t be asked about these animals. The office does a lot of education around making buildings accessible.