The Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Higher Education

August 5, 2020
Stephanie Enyart, AFB’s Chief Public Policy and Research Officer: The Americans with Disabilities Act created an important set of rights that human beings then struggled to implement. For students who attended college before the ADA, they were navigating without a comprehensive set of rights. Sometimes they ended up in a great spot, because people came through for them. But if they didn’t, students struggled to create a fully accessible educational experience. Even for students who came…

“Unlocking Potential”: Civil Rights Attorney Tim Elder on the ADA Turning 30

August 3, 2020
Tim Elder is a California-based civil rights attorney, founder of the TRE Legal Practice, and father of three. Active in the blindness community, he has taken on various roles with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and is an avid musician and reader. AFB spoke with Tim recently about the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on his life. This interview was edited for brevity and clarity. The Americans with Disabilities Act The ADA is unlocking…

Congratulations Neva Fairchild, AER’s New President

July 30, 2020
On August 1, AFB’s National Aging and Vision Loss Specialist Neva Fairchild becomes the new president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) after having served on its board of directors since 2018. Neva takes over for Emily Coleman, Superintendent at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. AER is a professional membership organization dedicated exclusively to professionals who provide services to persons with vision loss, with…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Leadership

The Future of the ADA: Making Strides in Self-determination

July 28, 2020
Editorial Note from Stephanie Enyart, Chief Public Policy and Research Officer: Michael Murray has dedicated his career to promoting greater inclusion for people with disabilities—in the Obama administration, as a deputy director at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, at the American Association of People with Disabilities as the COO, as director of the employer policy team at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment…

Meet AFB’s Graduate Student Researchers

July 27, 2020
The American Foundation for the Blind occasionally recruits student researchers to assist with our research activities such as literature reviews, data analysis, and report writing as part of our commitment to evidence-based advocacy. This summer, AFB has worked with a group of four on various projects. These volunteers are either in a doctoral program or giving serious consideration to applying. Through their universities, some are receiving credit for their volunteer work. AFB welcomes the…

AFB Staff Reflect on the Impact and Future of the Americans With Disabilities Act

July 23, 2020
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Below is a collection of reflections from AFB staff members about the impact the ADA has had on their own lives and what the future of the ADA holds for people with disabilities. Janni Lehrer-Stein…

Reflecting on the Americans with Disabilities Act, 30 Years Later

July 22, 2020
I was 29 years old when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. I was working in finance – only later in my career would I enter the non-profit sector – so at that time, I was largely unaware of its passing. As a young child, I’d attended the Oregon School for the Blind, but from third grade on I attended public schools and had to muscle my way through. It was very sink or swim. This was even before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which made available…

Catching up with Alexa Jovanovic of Aille Design, on the intersection of Braille and Fashion

July 14, 2020
Alexa Jovanovic knew at age 10 that she wanted to work in fashion. Several years later, when she launched her own fashion business, she also adopted a personal business philosophy: That good design shouldn’t exclude anyone. It was the marriage of these two elements that led to Aille Design, an emerging Canadian brand that makes braille-beaded clothing with a social purpose. The brand incorporates detailed beading to form phrases in braille. The intricate beading describes clothing…

Dr. Kirk Adams Ponders How Post-COVID-19 Workplaces Might Better Accommodate Workers with Disabilities

July 2, 2020
In his June 30 HR Dive op-ed “'A moment of inclusion': Will the post-pandemic workplace be more friendly to people with disabilities?” AFB’s president and CEO suggests that the work-from-home experience millions of Americans have faced in response to the novel coronavirus might lead to a more inclusive and accessible workplace – whether that be at office or home. Dr. Adams writes: “For a sizable faction of the workplace that already struggled with unreliable, time-consuming, or expensive…

AFB Chats with Jasmine Glass, Founder of a Braille-Labeled Beauty Line

June 30, 2020
Jasmine Glass, founder of Spktrm Beauty, has always been committed to inclusion. In many ways, she says, “The products are really just a vehicle for connecting with people from different communities.” Spktrm was born from her desire to transform and redefine beauty standards because, Glass says, “Since the beginning of the beauty industry, they've always been very harmful and exclusive. As I've been on this journey, I've realized so many new areas where the industry has been doing the least…