Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In honor of the occasion, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a proclamation and signed two pieces of legislation.
One new legislation will protect disabled people from being refused access to public places of accommodation such as hotels, retail stores and restaurants. The law also holds businesses accountable for ensuring accessibility for disabled people and makes it clear that it is discriminatory for a private or public operator to refuse to move architectural or communication barriers.
The second legislation directs the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to research laws and regulations involving military family members and suggest ways to improve those laws to better help military families with developmentally disabled members.
The ADA was the first law that guaranteed protection and support for disabled people. It included ensured equal rights, opportunities for employment and accessibility. It also prohibited discrimination.
New York State has become a national leader on rights for disabled people.