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Celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act


State agencies across Michigan are creating a series of events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Experts say the law is still having teething pains three decades after its passage.

The ADA changed the American landscape requiring things like curbs that can accommodate wheelchairs and so-called “handicapped” parking spaces that have become commonplace.

Wayne State University associate professor David Moss who specializes in laws effecting the disabled says the ADA also changed both attitudes towards those with a disability and the practice of routinely keeping them away from the rest of society.

“There are still a very sizable percentage of people with disabilities even people under age 65 with disabilities who are living in nursing homes and other institutional settings," said Moss. "But the number has come way way down.”

But Moss adds that the ADA still has not made good on its promise to create a surge in companies hiring people with disabilities.

He says some companies fear employing a disabled person could open the door to potential discrimination lawsuits or force them to pay for costly extra accommodations.