Disabilities or not, Wednesday was a time for hundreds to celebrate in Watertown, as this year marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Much of the act deals with handicap accessibility. It also broadens disability protections to include everything from employment to public accommodations.
For the occasion, the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living (NRCIL) threw a party, like it has every year since the act was passed in 1990.
"We come here -- or somewhere -- every year to celebrate that," said NRCIL executive director Brenda Campany, "and to thank the community for being invested in it."
With food, face-painting for the kids, and a silent auction, it was a time to honor those with disabilities -- and have a little fun.
WWNY-TV's own Mike White performed. He lost his leg years ago and says this event is especially meaningful.
"I enjoy playing anyway and anybody that'll listen, I'm happy to play for them," he said, "so this is even better, this is great. I always have a good time. Good bunch of folks here.
While it's a time to celebrate the ADA, many folks say there's still more to be done.
"I would say a lot of the challenges that people still face are transportation, housing -- it's very difficult to find affordable/accessible housing," said NRCIL board member Michelle Appleby.
"We still have to go a ways on making people understand that people with disabilities want to work, can work, want to be full members of society," Campany said.
There are still barriers to overcome, but many people say the ADA has changed their lives for the better.
Monday, August 3, 2015, Watertown, NY
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