RALEIGH – More North Carolinians are experiencing the benefits of the transportation system in the Tar Heel State because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, state officials said on the 30th anniversary of the landmark law.
“NCDOT recognizes stories from grandmothers about how curb ramps and accessible sidewalks provide needed daily inclusion, stories from parents of how the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles provides access to test-taking for their teenager with a learning disability and stories from community members about how NCDOT provides sign language interpreters at public meetings,” said Mark Whisenant, ADA and Title VI program manager for the Office of Civil Rights for the N.C. Department of Transportation. “We celebrate the many ways in which the ADA has transformed American society and enabled a generation of Americans with disabilities to thrive.”
Whisenant said the Office of Civil Rights is proud to play a critical role in ensuring the ADA enables people with disabilities to have the same opportunities as everyone else and to live independently and be self-sufficient.
North Carolina’s population includes over 1.3 million people (13.9%) with a disability. Many of these people use facilities and services built and maintained by the NCDOT and local entities, including sidewalks, public transportation and highway rest areas. NCDOT, through ongoing programs, strives to expand transportation-related accessibility in the state.
Thirty years ago, through the ADA, our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities.
The NCDOT ADA Program has worked tirelessly over the years to ensure people with disabilities are able to access all programs and services we provide.
Though our country has come a long way towards achieving equal opportunity for people with disabilities, our work is not yet done, Whisenant said.
“We are committed to making the promise of fully accessible transportation services so that North Carolinians with disabilities are able to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential,” he said.