“Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
-- George H.W. Bush, signing of Americans with Disabilities Act
July 26 is the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that is important to our clients, their families and to all of us here at DHS. The statement above mirrors my own feelings about the walls and barriers – physical and social – that still face too many Americans with disabilities. Every individual should be free from prejudices, attitudes, physical barriers and even well-intended policies and practices that prevent the full realization of their human potential.
For our own employees here at DHS, our commitment is to ensure compliance with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the jobs they hold or seek -- with or without reasonable accommodation. For more information on this important protection for employees, please see the information for the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services
In addition, every program at DHS works with individuals who experience disability. Our Core Values provide us with the basis for how we seek to design programs and provide services across every level of our organization. As we mark this important anniversary, I encourage everyone to reaffirm their dedication to our Core Values and consider how you can strengthen your own work to provide respectful, professional, and equitable service to every Oregonian that comes in contact with our organization.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is another one of those powerful reminders that America is at its greatest when we work together to realize and support the full participation and contribution of all of our citizens.
Have a great week.