25 Ways the Americans with Disabilities Act has Changed Lives

21 Andrew & Nora21. My quality of life has improved.

The ADA guarantees many rights and services for people with disabilities that no law did in the past. Housing and air travel were protected under other previous laws, but the ADA was the first comprehensive law for disability rights, covering employment, telecommunication, and public accommodation – which includes public access coverage for task trained service dogs. These promised rights, aren’t just rights at all. They have increased the quality of life for individuals and families for 25 years.

Meet Andrew & Nora. Without Nora, Andrew would have a particularly hard time navigating the world. As his mom says, “Autism is a marathon, not a sprint”, and together they are covering miles. The ADA helps them get those resources needed to safely access public accommodations and their school, together. Nora loves Andrew unconditionally, something that is sometimes hard for the unaware and unprepared public to do. Nora helps Andrew connect with his teachers and peers in their school environment, and Andrew has made strides in his schoolwork too. Quality of life is hard to measure, but it’s certainly obvious when things are better.

“My husband is a coach at a very large high school in Texas (think Friday night lights!) and I cannot manage games alone with the threat that Andrew will bolt…so we tether. When Andrew has a meltdown, it isn’t a temper tantrum. He’s on sensory overload. His anxiety is overwhelming. The lights are just so bright. Some of them even make noise only he can detect. The music is too loud. You put on too much of your terrible perfume…” and Nora helps with that, she make his life better.

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