It’s the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Architecture has changed for the better, but attitudes and opportunities have not.
Only 35.3 percent of New Mexico’s 157,900 working age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and can even increase the risk of developing mental health conditions.
Fully one in five Americans has a disability. A recent survey sponsored by the Kessler Foundation confirms that the majority of them are striving for work.
While persistent stigmas remain an obstacle, the evidence shows that people with disabilities can be highly successful workers. For example, Virgin Airways founder Sir Richard Branson and finance wizard Charles Schwab are dyslexic. Scientist Stephen Hawking, like Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and President Franklin D. Roosevelt before them, are wheelchair users.