NCDHHS Celebrates the ADA’s 30th Anniversary with a Virtual Celebration

Raleigh, N.C.

This month marks 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted with the promise of full and equal access to civic, economic and social life for Americans with disabilities. On July 23, 2020, North Carolina will host a virtual ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration to honor the progress of the last 30 years while recognizing the ongoing efforts by self-advocates with disabilities and allies to achieve equal access and full inclusion in community life.

"As we celebrate the expansion of rights and opportunities for people with disabilities on this 30th anniversary of the ADA, we know there is more work to do in order to build a more inclusive North Carolina," said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. "The principles of nondiscrimination and community inclusion are even more important as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained home- and community-based systems and supports the people of our state rely on to live safely and independently in their communities."

The ADA has helped hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians with disabilities go to school, participate in the political process, live independently in their communities and enter the workforce to pursue a better future for themselves and their families. In recent years, a tight labor market, advances in technology and increased focus on the value of a diverse, inclusive workforce contributed to more opportunities for career employment and fair wages for people with disabilities.

"North Carolinians with disabilities are a great resource in our workforce. We can all find more ways to be more inclusive, which ultimately makes the workplace better for everybody," said Barbara Gibson, Director of the Office of State Human Resources. "Governor Cooper is committed through Employment First to making North Carolina an employer of choice among individuals with disabilities. By increasing success in obtaining good-paying, competitive employment — including in state government — we will help eliminate the barriers to equal opportunity and inclusion that still exist."

North Carolina’s ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration is a virtual event that will feature self-advocates with disabilities and allies from across the state, as well as keynote addresses from Madeline Delp and Emeka Nnaka. Drawing on their lived experiences, our speakers will share their perspectives on the importance of the ADA and how to achieve a more accessible, equitable and inclusive future for all people with disabilities.

The North Carolina ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020. ASL interpreters and live captioning will be provided. Registration is free but limited to 300 attendees.

In addition to partnering to host the virtual event, the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities is honoring this important anniversary by collecting and sharing personal stories from North Carolinians with disabilities whose lives and communities have been impacted by the ADA. Learn more and share your story by visiting

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