On July 26, the United States will mark the 25 year anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was a landmark piece of disability rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities. It specifically prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations and public transportation, as well as discrimination by all local and state public entities. Twenty five years later, the ADA remains one of the most important pieces of disability rights legislation in the U.S. and an example to countries worldwide working towards advancing disability rights.
To mark this historic anniversary, the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, a project of the American Association of People with Disabilities, will be hosting an interfaith event, From Access to Belonging: An Interfaith Service Celebrating the Progress and Promise of the ADA on Sunday July 26 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. The service will be held at First Trinity Lutheran Church at 309 E Street NW in Washington, DC. The Service will be wheelchair accessible and sign language interpreted.
At the event, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, the RAC’s Senior Advisor on Disability Rights will be honored with the inaugural Thornburgh Family Award in recognition of her years of service on behalf of people with disabilities. The award is named after U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who helped negotiate the ADA with Congress, and Ginny Thornburgh, a long-time advocate for people with disabilities nationally and globally who specializes in inclusion in religious communities. The Thornburgh Family Award recognizes a religious leader who exemplifies the spirit of the ADA.
Rabbi Landsberg has been a leading voice on disability rights in the nation’s Capital and throughout the country for decades. First, in her role as Associate Director of the RAC, Rabbi Landsberg lobbied for the passage of the ADA twenty-five years ago. Then, after surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury in 1999, Lynne returned to the RAC as the Senior Advisor on Disability Rights in order to strengthen the Reform Movement’s advocacy for the civil and human rights of people with disabilities in order to ensure all people have equal access to religious and civic life.
In her role as the Senior Advisor on Disability Rights at the RAC, Lynne formed and co-chaired the Jewish Disability Network (JDN), a coalition of over two dozen Jewish organizations dedicated to disability rights and inclusion, and co-founded Hineinu, a historic and innovative collaboration of the Reform, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and Conservative Jewish Movements and Chabad dedicated to furthering disability inclusion in Jewish life. Rabbi Landsberg and the JDN played a leading role in advocating for the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She serves on the steering committee of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition and continues to be a leading voice in DC and around the country for disability rights and inclusion.
Join us on Sunday, July 26 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM at First Trinity Lutheran Church to mark the 25 year anniversary of the ADA and honor Rabbi Lynne Landsberg for her disability advocacy!