Access to Independence

ATI Launches Recognition of 25th Anniversary of the ADA

Posted by  //  April 14, 2015  //  Local Business

Calls for Renewed Efforts to Eradicate Discrimination and Barriers to Human and Civil Rights

Throughout history, disenfranchised groups of people have fought for (and continue to fight for), human and civil rights and freedom. We don’t have to look too far from our own door step for examples, including the fight for the end of slavery, the fight for women’s rights, the fight for the end of racial discrimination and the fight for the equal treatment of all people in society. Other examples include the fight for gay rights, the fight for the end of poverty and the fight for the human rights of people with disabilities.

History has also shown that it is never easy to effect change in a community or society where the result of equality comes at the cost of the status quo. That means, in order for everyone to have equality, some of the privileged or the more fortunate have to be willing to level the playing field so that they no longer have unfettered control and access to the majority of resources.

Facilitating this kind of change can be difficult. It can cause controversy, bad feelings, discomfort, and even fury. It is very often unpopular to challenge the status quo, especially in a small community where generations of families have struggled to cope with the ubiquitous changes that have happened in other communities and cities around them. But it is the continuation of this status quo that imperils democracy, that perpetuates apathy and that reinforces discrimination.

Perhaps the fight for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities is not your top priority or even on your list of top concerns, but it is for me and it is for the nearly 7,500 Cortland County residents, 3.5 million New Yorkers and 63 million Americans with disabilities, of all ages. We are fighting, educating, increasing awareness and making progress at the national and state level. But, as has been the case for the past 240 years, the hardest fight is at the local level.

This year, in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, Access to Independence is re-dedicating itself to the fight for the equality of all people with disabilities, in the areas of healthcare, housing, transportation, citizenship, and access to social, recreational, educational and employment opportunities.

In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the last 25 years, ATI announces its plans to redouble efforts to renew the fight started so long ago and that continues today by so many groups of people that have been and continue to be disenfranchised.

Whether it be minorities, women, people with disabilities, or another group, the fact remains that structural and attitudinal barriers exist that prevent unequivocal access to all aspects of human and civil rights by all residents of our nation. These barriers restrict access to education, employment, transportation, commerce and citizenship. These barriers perpetuate the insidious income disparities that exist between the privileged and the less fortunate.

Access to Independence is committed to empowering people with disabilities to lead independent lives in their community. Access toIndependence is committed to expanding its fight for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities to make sure that we can exercise our ability to control our own lives, make our own decisions and to participate FULLY in society. Join us in fighting for changes, local, state and national, that will lead to the elimination of barriers and the promotion of an all-inclusive future.

For more information on how you can get involved, please visit our website:, call us at 607-753-7363, or email us

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