ADA: 25 Years of Disability Civil Rights

ADA 25 logo

The weekend of July 24-26, 2015 brings nation-wide celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26th, 1990, capping decades of legal efforts and activism to end discrimination against people with disabilities. The Smithsonian is partnering with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in producing a range of activities to mark this historic moment and highlight the ADA’s on-going legacy in American life. All events are at the National Museum of American History, free, and accessible.

Download the 25/40 event guide (PDF)

 

#ADA25          #2540Celebration

 

Sunday, July 26

ADA25 Legacy Bus and Disability Rights Museum on Wheels
Noon
Madison Drive, on the Mall side of the Museum grounds
 
 
Millennium Stage performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Featured artists to be announced
6:00 PM
 

Occupy our front steps!

Outside, North side, Constitution Avenue entrance
Google Institute portraits of disability rights leaders of Kathy Martinez and Tia Nelis commemorate the 1990 “Capital Crawl” protest when activists put aside their wheelchairs and crutches and crawled up the steps of the US Capital to make a dramatic point. 
 

Smithsonian’s Festival ADA: 25 Years of Disability Civil Rights
Noon - 4:45 PM
Outside, South Side, Madison Drive

  • Accessible Communications: Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Convo Communications, iCanConnect
  • Accessible Travel: Department of Transportation, American Bus Association, Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Easter Seals
  • ADA25 Legacy Bus and Disability Rights Museum on Wheels: July 26 only. The legendary Bus, driven by photographer Tom Olin, has been traveling the US for many months. Today it recreates the 144-mile Stolen Lives March from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Information: Department of Justice
  • Assistive Technology: Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Deaf Space and Accessible Architecture: Gallaudet University
  • Employment: Job Accommodation Network, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Family Activities: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Music workshop on July 24; Dance workshop on July 25; Theater workshop on July 26
  • Gaming: AbleGamers
  • Human Engineering: Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh
  • Navigation Technology Beacon: International Business Machines Corp.
  • Arrow Race Car: Indy driver Sam Schmidt’s adapted Corvette C7 Stingray
  • Service Animals
  • Traveling Museum on the history of disability rights   link:
  • U.S. Postal Service Stamp Cancellation: special cancellation stamp and decorative envelopes for the ADA, you can design your own postcard or purchase the special cachet, purchase a postage stamp, and mail your epistle stamped with ADA25
  • Noon ADA 25th Anniversary Party
    Pierce Bush, Lex Frieden
  • 12:10 Signing of the ADA: The Ceremony on the White House Lawn
    Congressman Tony Coelho (CA), Senator Tom Harkin (IA), Elizabeth Savage, Pat Wright.
    Moderator: Carolyn Osolinik
  • 1:00  Section 504, Eugenics, and Institutionalization
    Susan Burch, Marilyn Golden, Brian Greenwald, Judith Heumann, Kim Nielsen. Moderator: Joe Shapiro
  • 2:00 Deaf Space and Accessible Architecture
    Hansel Bauman, Jack Catlin, Christopher Hoffmann. Moderator: Valerie Fletcher,
  • 3:00  Paralympics and Sports Inclusion
    Cheri Blauwet, Ann Cody, Eli Wolff.  Moderator: Jim Welch, ret. USA Today Sports 
  • 4:00 Looking Forward after the First 25 Years: The Youth Perspective
    Rabia Belt, Melissa Draganac-Hawk, Maria Town, Alex Van Hook. Moderator: Rebecca Cokley

Accessibility Services for Festival ADA:  Festival ADA discussion sessions will be presented in spoken English and sign language and supported with assistive listening and CART. Individuals requiring tactile interpreting services, please contact Krista Flores at floresk@si.edu. There will be sign language interpreter floaters, audio description floaters, and clipboard assistive listening devices (ALDs) for the Demonstration and Family Activities tents. To request services from a floater or to use the portable ALDs, please go to the Information Table at the Festival. This program is available online in standard print, large print, and text only. At the Festival it will be also be available in Braille. Festival ADA Program Word / Standard Print PDF / Large Print PDF

Other Goings-On

Disability History Collection in Archives Center

National Portrait Gallery, Google Institute portraits of disability rights leaders

Kennedy Center events

EveryBody online exhibition

ADA25 Legacy Project

Past Events

Wednesday, July 15

International conversation takes place on Twitter. Follow @amhistorymuseum@VSAIntl, and @amhistcurator
 

Monday, July 20

Exhibition: The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990-2015
July 20 though December 17, 2015
Second Floor, Mall entrance
The museum features objects from the national collections that capture the significance and legacy of the ADA through the stories of four people.
 

Tuesday, July 21

Millennium Stage performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
American Sign Language Storytelling Night
6:00 PM
 

Wednesday, July 22

Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box 
8:00 - 9:00 PM
Walter H. Coulter Performance Plaza, 1st floor West Wing
Actor and performance artist Mat Fraser performs his one-person, original piece “Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability was Kept in a Box.” Fraser’s creative take on attitudes about disability is equal parts cabaret, incisive lecture, and humorous commentary on museum displays of human difference. Includes mature content.
 
Millennium Stage performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Robotic Musicians and Musical Cyborgs
6:00 PM
 

Thursday, July 23

 
Millennium Stage performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
6:00 PM

Friday, July 24

Conversations on Latino/as and the ADA (webcast)
noon to 5:00 PM
Warner Bros. Theater, first floor, near Constitution Ave. entrance
This brainy gathering of professors, activists, and professionals from around the country takes on the historical and cultural issues related to how disability has been understood among Latino/as in the United States. First come, first served.
 

The History and Political Dynamics of Policy and Services
noon

  • Kathy Martinez, Senior Vice President, Disability Market Segment & Strategy, Wells Fargo; former Assistant Secretary of Labor, Office on Disability Employment Policy (2009-15); former Executive Director of World Institute on Disability
  • Fabricio Balcazar, PhD, Professor, Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Katherine Ott, NMAH curator, Moderator

 

The History of Cultural Issues Related to Disability and Latino/as
1:30 PM

  • Rene David Luna, disability rights coordinator for immigrants, Access Living, Chicago
  • Brigida Hernandez, PhD, Director of Research, YAI Network, NY
  • John McKiernan-Gonzalez, PhD, professor, Department of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, Moderator

 

Activism and Advocacy
3:00 PM

  • Leticia Arellano; founder, Deaf Women of Color; ASL Proficiency Evaluator, Gallaudet University.
  • Horacio Esparza, radio host, and Executive Director, Progress Center for Independent Living, Forest Park, Ill.
  • John McKiernan-Gonzalez, PhD, Moderator 
 
Millennium Stage performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Blessing Offor
6:00 PM
 

Occupy our front steps!
Outside, North side, Constitution Avenue entrance
Google Institute portraits of disability rights leaders of Kathy Martinez and Tia Nelis commemorate the 1990 “Capital Crawl” protest when activists put aside their wheelchairs and crutches and crawled up the steps of the US Capital to make a dramatic point. 

 

Smithsonian’s Festival ADA: 25 Years of Disability Civil Rights
Noon - 4:45 PM
Outside, South Side, Madison Drive

  • Accessible Communications: Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Convo Communications, iCanConnect
  • Accessible Travel: Department of Transportation, American Bus Association, Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Easter Seals
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Information: Department of Justice
  • Assistive Technology: Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Deaf Space and Accessible Architecture: Gallaudet University
  • Employment: Job Accommodation Network, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Family Activities: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Music workshop on July 24; Dance workshop on July 25; Theater workshop on July 26
  • Gaming: AbleGamers
  • Human Engineering: Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh
  • Navigation Technology Beacon: International Business Machines Corp.
  • Arrow Race Car: Indy driver Sam Schmidt’s adapted Corvette C7 Stingray
  • Service Animals        
  • U.S. Postal Service Stamp Cancellation: special cancellation stamp and decorative envelopes for the ADA, you can design your own postcard or purchase the special cachet, purchase a postage stamp, and mail your epistle stamped with ADA25.
    Discussion Stage
  • Noon History and Passage of the ADA: Congressional and Legal Perspectives
    Congressman Tony Coelho (CA), Senator Tom Harkin (IA), Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD), Governor Lowell Weicker (CT). Moderator: I. King Jordan
  • 1:00 Access Tech
    Mark Barlet, Jason Barnes, Rory Cooper, Gil Weinberg. Moderator: Lee Page
  • 2:00 Demonstration: Dance
    with AXIS Dance Company
  • 3:00 Looking Back at 25 Years of the ADA
    with Irene Bowen, Lois Curtis, Lex Frieden, Bobby Silverstein. Moderator: Marca Bristo
  • 4:00  Performance: American Sign Language Storytelling
    with Manny Hernandez
Accessibility Services for Festival ADA:  Festival ADA discussion sessions will be presented in spoken English and sign language and supported with assistive listening and CART. Individuals requiring tactile interpreting services, please contact Krista Flores at floresk@si.edu. There will be sign language interpreter floaters, audio description floaters, and clipboard assistive listening devices (ALDs) for the Demonstration and Family Activities tents. To request services from a floater or to use the portable ALDs, please go to the Information Table at the Festival. This program is available online in standard print, large print, and text only. At the Festival it will be also be available in Braille. Festival ADA Program Word / Standard Print PDF / Large Print PDF
 

Saturday, July 25

Film Series
Warner Theater, first floor, near Constitution Ave. entrance  
The museum screens three films made by or about people with disabilities. Following each film, a curator moderates a lively conversation among the audience members, directors, historians, or others connected to the production. First come, first served; captioned, audio described.
 
  • Deliverance, 1919
    Noon
    George Foster Platt, director and producer
    This rare black and white silent film from the Library of Congress dramatizes the life of Helen Keller. Both Keller and Anne Sullivan make appearances. The film is followed by a discussion led by Keller biography and historian, Kim Nielsen
  • Becoming Bulletproof, 2014
    1:30 PM
    Michael Barnett, director
    This documentary follows a group of people with disabilities making a costume Western, filmed on location sets in southern California. The Screening is followed by discussion of the film.
     
  • Lives Worth Living, 2011
    3:30 PM
    Eric Neudel, director
    This documentary includes interviews and historic clips related to the disability rights movement. The Screening is followed by discussion of the film with the film-makers.

 

National Dance Day: Dance for Everybody & NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra
4:30 PM Kennedy Center, Grand Foyer (free); and 7:00 PM Kennedy Center Concert Hall (free)

 

Occupy our front steps!

Outside, North side, Constitution Avenue entrance
Google Institute portraits of disability rights leaders of Kathy Martinez and Tia Nelis commemorate the 1990 “Capital Crawl” protest when activists put aside their wheelchairs and crutches and crawled up the steps of the US Capital to make a dramatic point. 

 

Smithsonian’s Festival ADA: 25 Years of Disability Civil Rights
Noon - 4:45 PM
Outside, South Side, Madison Drive

  • Accessible Communications: Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Convo Communications, iCanConnect
  • Accessible Travel: Department of Transportation, American Bus Association, Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Easter Seals
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Information: Department of Justice
  • Assistive Technology: Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Deaf Space and Accessible Architecture: Gallaudet University
  • Employment: Job Accommodation Network, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Family Activities: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Music workshop on July 24; Dance workshop on July 25; Theater workshop on July 26
  • Gaming: AbleGamers
  • Human Engineering: Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University of Pittsburgh
  • Navigation Technology Beacon: International Business Machines Corp.
  • Arrow Race Car: Indy driver Sam Schmidt’s adapted Corvette C7 Stingray
  • Service Animals        
  • U.S. Postal Service Stamp Cancellation: special cancellation stamp and decorative envelopes for the ADA, you can design your own postcard or purchase the special cachet, purchase a postage stamp, and mail your epistle stamped with ADA25.
  • Noon  ADA and Employment Rights
    Lori Golden, Maureen Gormley, Kathy Martinez, Lydia Vreeland. Moderator: Chai Feldblum
  • 1:00  History and Passage of the ADA: Wider Impact of the Law
    Marca Bristo, Arlene Mayerson, Becky Ogle, Elizabeth Savage, Moderator: John Wodatch
  • 2:00  Universal Design
    Valerie Fletcher, Susan Henderson, Rex Pace, Moderator: Jack Catlin
  • 3:00  Deaf President Now
    Bridgetta Bourne-Firl, Greg Hlibok, Jeff Rosen. Moderator: Brian Greenwald
  • 4:00  Performance: Vocal
    Blessing Offor

Accessibility Services for Festival ADA:  Festival ADA discussion sessions will be presented in spoken English and sign language and supported with assistive listening and CART. Individuals requiring tactile interpreting services, please contact Krista Flores at floresk@si.edu. There will be sign language interpreter floaters, audio description floaters, and clipboard assistive listening devices (ALDs) for the Demonstration and Family Activities tents. To request services from a floater or to use the portable ALDs, please go to the Information Table at the Festival. This program is available online in standard print, large print, and text only. At the Festival it will be also be available in Braille. Festival ADA Program Word / Standard Print PDF / Large Print PDF