Hand holding a puzzle heart, autism awareness

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American with Disabilities Act 30th Anniversary

Civil rights laws take years to be written, understood, and accepted by the public. In July people with disabilities will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law included the same protections as the Civil Rights Laws of 1964 but this time people with disabilities were included. Stavros is proud to say our staff not only fought for the passage of the ADA but attended the signing on the White House lawn on a sweltering July day.

The law prohibited discrimination in voting, public accommodation, public facilities, public education, federally assisted programs, and employment. However, like most civil rights laws it is taking years for the public to accept and implement. For example, access to voting is still a problem when polling places, voting mechanisms, and transportation to the polls remains inaccessible. Many public accommodations still require accessible entrances, town halls remain difficult to enter, and federally assisted programs such as education deny students with learning disabilities the necessary supports to get an education, and the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains twice the rate of people without disabilities.

As you can see we have a long way to go. In part because unlike other civil rights laws the ADA comes with a price. We believe cost is a barrier because the law may require architectural changes, accommodations for employees, and redesigning public transportation. The costs are negligible compared to the benefits our society gains by increasing a reliable workforce, increasing the population purchasing goods and services, and adding a population paying into the system rather than being dependent on government benefits. Most importantly it’s the right thing to do. The most difficult barrier to overcome is people’s attitudes. We are not “Jerry’s Kids” we do not want your pity we want to be included into our culture, society, and neighborhoods.

Stavros is working to fulfill the promise of the ADA, societal integration rather than segregation in nursing homes, long-term care institutions, and access to home health services. Stavros’s dream is to make this promise a reality.

Joe Tringali, Editor and Informational Advocate at Stavros

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Older woman smiling in a wheelchair on a ramp

Meet The Challenge!

Stavros was founded by Chris Palames and some of his friends in 1974.  Bill Martin was one of those friends. In the early 1970’s people with disabilities had little or no opportunities to live in the community.

Person wearing a hat and high-heeled sandals, crouching down in front of woman in wheelchair

Stavros is a Fragrance Free Place

For the safety of our visitors and employees we are requesting our visitors to help us stay a Fragrance Free Place. Please do NOT use fragrances when you visit our offices or attend any of our events.