Originally created 07/25/02

Event to honor disabilities act



Several groups, including Walton Rehabilitation Hospital and Augusta Technical College, have joined to sponsor a local celebration of the 12th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

A torch-led parade, a ceremony and a picnic are planned for the event Friday.

The festivities will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a parade beginning at Walton Options for Independent Living, off Walton Way. The parade will travel to Paine College, where an 11 a.m. ceremony is planned at Gilbert Lambuth Memorial Chapel. State Sen. Charles Walker, D-Augusta, will be the keynote speaker. The picnic will begin at noon.

The purpose of the celebration is to make others aware of disabled people around them and celebrate the history of the first comprehensive law to protect their rights, according to Judy Winters, a co-chairwoman for the event.

"The Fourth of July stands for freedom for America, but the 26th of July stands for freedom for disabled people," Ms. Winters said. "We want people to know what (the act) means to disabled people."

Signed into law July 26, 1990, by then-President George Bush, the Americans With Disabilities Act was the world's first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.

Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3220 or jennifer.hilliard@augustachronicle.com.