Hailed as the Bill of Rights for people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has fulfilled much of its promise since its enactment 25 years ago. To realize the landmark federal law’s promise – ensuring citizens can be full participants in society throughout their lives – we must redouble our efforts to reduce the significant disparities that remain.
– July 24, 2015 Remarks from Lex Frieden, Chair National Advisory Board on Improving Health Outcomes for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities
Today, as we celebrate the signing of the legislation heralded by many as the “Bill of Rights” for individuals with disabilities, we are also acknowledging decades of effort that the ADA supports to ensure that all Americans have the rights of access to live their lives.
The ADA opens the doors of access to people with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination, providing access to reasonable accommodations at work, as well as setting up basic requirements or accessibility in our communities and public spaces. The ADA also continues to be a driving force behind inclusion by supporting environments that are universally accessible to all people and supportive of individuals of all types of disabilities including those with hidden disabilities (e.g. mental health disabilities, intellectual disabilities) and disabilities due to aging and chronic illnesses.
“This historic act is the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities — the first. Its passage has made the United States the international leader on this human rights issue…This act is powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and so hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.”
- President George H.W. Bush at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
At Anthem, we are leveraging this as a time to celebrate the strides we have taken to ensure that associates have all the appropriate tools, resources, and support to be successful at work as well as reflect on how we continue to evolve to be a more inclusive organization, assuring associates can be their authentic selves at work.
As a leader in our field working toward inclusion for all Americans, I can see a new generation of leaders, change agents, and Anthem associates stepping forward to remind us that we all come from multiple backgrounds and identities, and that bringing the diversity of our skills and talents to work rightly often means that we bring all of our unique experiences and identities as well.
Building upon the values of the ADA, Anthem has made significant progress to be an inclusive and inviting organization for all associates through providing education on disability and disability acceptance, accommodations, and management and support resources. This year, we are proud to continue our dedication to inclusive employment through the launch of an internship program that values and emphasizes diversity and disability.
We are asking associates to partner with us in celebrating the ADA anniversary and join us as we amp up our efforts to cultivate a culture where all associates feel supported to succeed at the highest levels. Over the coming weeks and months, you will see videos, screensavers, Pulse articles, and other communications related to confidential self-identification of disability status. This will be an enterprise-wide effort towards greater diversity and inclusion that we invite you to be part of. Thank You!
For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, please visit ADA.gov