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RIF: Dr. Gerard Buckley reflects on 30 years of the ADA

Emily Putnam
Created: August 02, 2020 10:00 AM

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The landmark legislation makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on disability, and some say it's the most important human rights legislation to be passed since the Civil RIghts Act of 1964.

Dr. Gerard Buckley was in attendance at the White House's Rose Garden when the act was signed, and has closely monitored its evolution and application throughout its history. Buckley now serves as the president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and vice president and dean at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

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Although the act has significantly improved accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing communities, there is still a long way to go. To continue to promote and broaden awareness of accessibility in the age of COVID, Buckley recommends things like downloading free automatic speech recognition cell phone apps to improve communication, printing out and posting written information whenever possible, and being mindful that lip reading is impossible with most face coverings. 

Dr. Buckley recently published an article about the impact the ADA has had on deaf and hard of hearing communities. You can read his article here


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