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BOSTON – The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) today. The late Sen. Kennedy co-sponsored the original legislation and was instrumental in securing its passage in the Senate. The ADA provided broad protection against bias in public accommodations and employment for people with disabilities. The law also required accessible transportation and telephone services for those with speech or hearing impairments.
Sen. Kennedy’s work to pass this landmark law is featured in the Institute’s temporary exhibit entitled “The Lion of the Senate,” which highlights his legislative accomplishments.
“The ADA is a shining example of the U.S. Senate working at its best,” said Institute President Dr. Jean MacCormack. “A group of men and women came together to pass one of the landmark civil rights bills of our time. I encourage people to come to the Institute and learn more about this amazing piece of legislation and Sen. Kennedy’s critical role in getting it passed into law.” In addition, the Institute is a co-sponsor of the 25/40 Celebration—a joint production of the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA and the 40th anniversary of the VSA, the international organization on arts and disability. The Institute was also a sponsor of the New England ADA Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration on Boston Common last week.
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