Press Releases

Downtown Atlanta Readies for American’s With Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Observance

ATLANTA, June 11, 2015 - Disability advocates, representatives of local community organizations and national thought leaders will take over the heart of downtown Atlanta on Saturday, June 13, not in protest, but to pay homage to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 25th anniversary, in full parade style.

The ADA25 Georgia Legacy Parade will begin at 2:00 PM on Peachtree Street (in front of the SunTrust Bank Building and the Hyatt Regency Hotel). Gwinnett County’s Shiloh High School 20-member Drum Corps will border and perform along the route filled with marchers who will proceed down Baker Street, advance into Centennial Park, to the Southern Company Amphitheatre to kick off the parade closing program at 3:30 PM. Scheduled headliners are national speakers Simi Linton and Claudia Gordon, plus Full Radius Dance, a fully-integrated, professional dance company featuring dancers with and without disabilities.

Citizen-advocate and parade organizer, Gillian Grable of the Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD) at the University of Georgia called the parade and program “a true collaboration of Georgia’s disability community, including our friends and allies. We are grateful for the broad based support we received from many non-profits and businesses,” she said.

More than 57 million Americans, and 1-in-5 Georgians, have some type of disability as an occurrence of birth, injury or longevity. In addition to improving public perception of disabilities, the ADA25 Georgia Legacy Parade Coalition, in concert with the national ADA25 Legacy Project, seeks to celebrate the progress and promise of the ADA; honor the contributions of people with disabilities and their allies; and create a legacy in which every citizen is accepted for who they are.

Eric Jacobson, executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, will welcome parade participants and parade watchers in his opening remarks. “The Americans with Disabilities Act is the most crucial piece of civil rights legislation for the disability community,” said Jacobson. “In addition to paving the way forward for community inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities, it has also defined progress for an entire generation. This parade and program will serve as a celebration of ADA successes and a reminder that there is still work to be done.”

Keynote speaker, Claudia Gordon, former Obama Administration White House Disability Community Public Engagement Advisor, is the first known deaf, African-American female attorney in the nation. She is currently Chief of Staff for the U. S. Department of Labor, Office of Contract Compliance where she works to ensure that contractors doing business with the Federal government do not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity or disability.

Nationally recognized author, speaker and disability advocate Simi Linton will read from her book, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity. Linton is co-director at the Columbia University Seminar in Disability in New York and one of America’s foremost experts on disability and the arts. She works with cultural institutions to change the perception of how disability is represented in all art forms.

A City of Atlanta Proclamation will be received from Councilman Kwanza Hall Council District 2.

“We also appreciate the support received from the City of Atlanta and we want everyone to come, participate or watch and have fun with us,” Grable added. “Atlanta’s rich tradition of civil rights and hospitality makes it the perfect place to celebrate the positive impact the ADA has had on community life for people with disabilities.”

After the program, a variety of exhibits will be on display from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM: the Disability Rights Museum on Wheels; an ADA25 photo exhibit at the Center for Civil and Human Rights; and the ADA25 Road to Freedom tour bus.
About the ADA25 Georgia Legacy Coalition

The Georgia ADA25 Legacy Coalition is made up of the following like-minded partner organizations: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Concrete Change, disABILITY Link, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, Georgia Disability History Alliance, Georgia State University Center for Leadership in Disability, One Billion Rising, the Shepherd Center, Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia and University of Georgia Institute on Human Development and Disability.

Media links:
For information and to register for the ADA25 Georgia Legacy Parade, visit
For Claudia Gordon’s bio, visit
For Simi Linton’s bio, visit
For more information about Full Radius Dance, visit (This link is no longer active.)
For more information about the ADA Legacy Project, visit (This link is no longer active.)

Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD)

404-657-2122 (office); 404-801-7873 (mobile)

Follow GCDD on Twitter: @georgiacouncil: Look for Saturday Parade Updates at #ADAparade

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