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This year, the YAI Network is thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This groundbreaking legislation brought human rights to people with disabilities, giving millions of people new opportunities to lead meaningful, productive lives.

The ADA outlawed discrimination in employment and housing. This sweeping federal law made discrimination on the basis of physical or developmental disability illegal, specifically with regard to employment and hiring processes. The ADA also mandated that public accommodations, such as restrooms and public transportation, be constructed or modified to enable full access to people with disabilities.

The ADA has been a powerful tool in the effort to create equal opportunities for people for people with developmental disabilities like Erica.

YAI- Erica is a Self Advocate

Erica, who lives in a YAI group residence, is a wonderful example of what many people with disabilities can achieve when they receive the services and support they need. Erica works at CVS and volunteers at a nursing home, a soup kitchen, and a YAI Network preschool and residence.

She is also a passionate advocate for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. As a member of the YAI Westchester Self-Advocacy Group, Erica has traveled to Albany and advocated against budget cuts for disabilities services. “It’s important for people with disabilities to have a voice and be heard,” Erica declared. “I’m able to talk for them. My disability does not get in the way.”

Please help the YAI Network realize the promise of the ADA and help carry the spirit of the ADA forward, creating hope and opportunity for people with disabilities and their families through our comprehensive services.