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Picnic, rally mark ADA anniversary

Tue., July 27, 2010

People with disabilities and their advocates celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Monday at a picnic in Mirabeau Park in Spokane Valley and a rally at the federal courthouse in Spokane.

The act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability, was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Since then, federal court rulings have eroded some protections of the act, known as ADA, according to advocates.

“The courts have been trying to pull the rug out from under us,” said Linda McClain, director of the Coalition of Responsible Disabled in Spokane. “But the fight still goes on.”

In 2009, Congress amended ADA to restore protections eroded by the judiciary, McClain said, but Washington state law still provides more protections against discrimination than the federal law.

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