Johnson County’s Board of Supervisors recognized the 1990 Civil Rights Act during Thursday’s session.
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors officially recognized residents with disabilities through a statewide proclamation on Thursday.
The board declared July 26th Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day, the day former President George HW Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
“Thanks to the board for … for everything you do to provide accessibility and support.” Maria Vasey, a member of Expand the Dream Foundation Board of Directors said.
The 1990s Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in all areas of public life, including workplaces, transportation, and schools. The aim of the law is to guarantee the rights of people with disabilities.
July serves as Disabled Pride Month in some states, but it is not recognized nationally.
The boards proclamation calls on residents of the county to celebrate and honor the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Vasey said when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed three decades ago, there was a huge positive change for people with disabilities.
“We had parties and they always started with a proclamation from the district overseer, so I see this as a continuation and appreciate it,” Vasey said.
CEO of Claiming Disability LLC Erin Noon-Kay told the board that Johnson County continues to lead the way when it comes to accessibility.
“I’ve lived in many places, and I can honestly say that Johnson County and the Iowa City area are some of the most accessible places I’ve ever lived,” said Noon-Kay.
Iowa City American Disability Act Coordinator and Assistant City Manager Rachel Kilburg said the city of Iowa City has no enforcement powers over private companies to make them more accessible to people with disabilities.
“It depends on when the building was built… there are a lot of shifts. In general, companies need to work to accommodate someone with a disability, ”Kilburg said.
Noon-Kay commended the board’s continued use of live streaming meetings and encouraged the board to include captions along with image descriptions in their live streams to make the meetings more accessible.
“People are often confused about the ADA and its enforcement,” said Noon-Kay. “They say, ‘We passed the ADA in 1990 under the Bush administration, and you know, we did it, and that’s the most monumental thing.’ Well, there is still a lot to do in terms of accessibility. “