United States Attorney’s Office Supports Advocacy Day for Access and Independence
Speech Given by Assistant US Attorney Rob Sneed in Support of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Contact Person: Rob Sneed (843) 266-1600
Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that in its continued efforts to support the commitments in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in Advocacy Day for Access and Independence this week.
This annual event was led by Able SC, which is a Center for Independent Living organization whose mission includes empowering people with disabilities to live active and self-determined lives. There were several different disability advocacy and support groups from around the state participating and hundreds of people attended the event.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster earlier issued a proclamation naming April 26, 2017 as Advocacy Day for Independence throughout the state to “encourage all South Carolinians to work together to destroy the barriers that hinder individuals with disabilities from becoming fully independent participants in our communities.”
AUSA Sneed’s remarks focused on the Department of Justice’s unwavering support of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). AUSA Sneed referenced examples where the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice are opening gateways to full participation and opportunity for people with disabilities. This includes Project Civic Access, which is the DOJ’s wide-ranging effort to ensure that counties, cities, towns, and camps comply with the ADA by eliminating physical and communication barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in community life.
U.S. Attorney Drake noted that, “The ADA has been described as ‘the Emancipation Proclamation for people with disabilities.’ Others have described this landmark law as a vehicle that “secures for people with disabilities the most fundamental of rights: the right to live in the world. It ensures they can go places and do things that other Americans take for granted. If a person can work, it is critical for so many reasons that we eliminate artificial barriers that can obstruct their ability to work.” Recognizing that work remains to be done to create free access to employment and services, U.S. Attorney Drake noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice will continue enforcement efforts until reaching the point so well-made nearly twenty-seven years ago by President George H.W. Bush, when he signed the ADA into law: “When every last shameful wall of exclusion for persons with disabilities finally comes tumbling down.”