The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will gather in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building on July 19th to recognize the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event will reflect on the accomplishments of our community and look towards a future where the goals of the ADA are fully realized. The 2018 ADA Celebration will bring together the disability community with business and government leadership.
This year’s event will be emceed by AAPD Board Chair Ted Kennedy, Jr., who will present several awards, including the AAPD ADA Champion Award to U. S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) who introduced the EMPOWER Care Act in the House of Representatives. The EMPOWER Care Act would extend and fund the Money Follows the Person program, which helps people with disabilities transition out of institutions and nursing homes and back into the community. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will also receive the AAPD ADA Champion Award for her commitment to protecting the Americans with Disabilities Act and for supporting the full integration of people with disabilities.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. will receive the AAPD Catalyst Award in recognition of their organizational commitment to equality and full inclusion of all people with disabilities. The event will also recognize REV UP Texas with the AAPD Political Power Award for their efforts to increase the civic engagement of people with disabilities. The REV UP Campaign, launched by AAPD in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that aims to eliminate barriers to voting, promote accessibility of voting technology and polling places; educate voters about issues and candidates; promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country; engage candidates and the media on disability issues; and protect eligible voters’ right to participate in elections. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
In addition to the EMPOWER Care Act, AAPD advocates to advance several legislative efforts, including the Disability Integration Act, which supports the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community of their choice. The Association also opposes any efforts to weaken the ADA, such as the ADA Education and Reform Act, which would have removed any incentive for voluntary compliance with the ADA by businesses.