LivAbility Magazine
The Ability 360 creative team sits at a table and works on the magazine, displayed on a large screen.

Photo by Loren Worthington

July 26th marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA provides protection from discrimination based on disability, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and enacts accessibility requirements on public accommodations. As we celebrate this historic anniversary, the Creative Team is keenly aware that many of this edition’s stories reflect the positive changes and opportunities made possible by this landmark civil rights legislation.

Look no further than Susan Webb’s regular employment column, explaining the steps involved to request a reasonable work accommodation, or check out Amina Kruck’s legislative update, illustrating important advocacy efforts to defend and maintain the integrity of the ADA. The ADA became a foundation for future legislation benefiting persons with disabilities, such as the ABLE Act, also outlined in this issue.

We also celebrate our 2016 Paralympic hopefuls, brought to life on our front cover and in “Road to Rio” by photographers Jerry O’Connor (cover) and Loren Worthington. As we read about the numerous and exciting adaptive sports and recreation opportunities available to people with all types of disabilities, we again give thanks for the historical legislation that helped break down physical barriers for our athletes – creating opportunities them to participate in adaptive sports and eventually travel to accessible venues as competitors – and also served as a catalyst in breaking down attitudinal barriers for all people with disabilities.

Many “Adventures” in this issue would not be possible without accessible public places, one of the most recognizable hallmarks of the ADA. Fitness, recreation and travel options are endless: get movin’ through integrated dance with Brooke Brown; explore Canyon Lake’s Dolly Steamboat with Don Price; experience the best accessible seating in Chase Field with Corey Hahn; register and exercise your right to vote at accessible polling sites; and embark on a wine-tasting adventure along Verde Valley Wine Trail.

And what would accommodations look like without technology? Learn about the latest mobile apps for students with Gene Heppard; meet a local nonprofit, Valley Center of the Deaf, a provider of deaf-blind assistive technology, among many other services. Finally, check out “Cool Careers”, where we find Gabe Trujillo typing 65 words per minute with an on-screen keyboard.

Don’t worry! You will still find your favorite musings on love and relationships with “Lopex on Love”, where Emily gives readers a raw glimpse into the hardships and realizations that dating inevitably brings. LivAbility is excited to introduce “360 Perspectives”, where YOU have the opportunity to share your own perspectives on… well, almost anything!

Happy Birthday, ADA, and happy reading to you!