WHITE PLAINS, NY --County Executive Robert P. Astorino commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)Thursdsay during the Westchester Disability Advocacy Partnership's "ADA 25: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" event at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains.
"We've come a long way since George H.W. Bush first signed this important piece of legislation into law on July 26, 1990, thereby guaranteeing that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else in mainstream American life," Astorino said. "But – as we all know – we can't pat ourselves on the back and say our work here is done. Thankfully, that's never been our approach in Westchester, where we are fortunate to have so many strong community partners working alongside county government to make sure we never get complacent when it comes to granting equal access to all."
Under Astorino's leadership, the county has worked to expand equal access for all by:
Funding the ParaTransit public transportation system, which serves 6,300 individuals;
Expanding ParaTransit Taxi service to provide nearly 11,000 rides annually;
Co-chairing the Westchester Employment Network Committee, a partnership of agencies that provide vocational services such as job placements and training;
Launching the Equal Access Westchester campaign in partnership with the Westchester Independent Living Center to promote accessibility to the business community;
Organizing a National Disability Employment Awareness Month Breakfast to recognize local businesses who make hiring and training of the disabled a priority;
Partnering with CAREERS for People with Disabilities and Access-VR to conduct a Disability Mentoring Day;
Maintaining a voluntary registry so that people with disabilities and others requiring special assistance can get the help they need in case of an emergency. Visit the Special Needs Registry or call 2-1-1 to sign up today;
Hosting Playland Day for People with Disabilities, which opens the park for free to over 7,000 people with disabilities and their families;
Supporting the Miracle League of Westchester, with over 200 children and 600 adults participating in recreational baseball programs;
Running the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in conjunction with the county's Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation and Cerebral Palsy of Westchester;
Offering an ADA Coordinator;
Fulfilling Sign Language interpreter requests;
Providing numerous disability awareness programs and resources, including travel training, handicapped parking education, and camp and recreational guides; and much more.