Local nonprofit hosting events to mark 30th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago and the nonprofit Disability Resource Center is hosting a number of events to celebrate the anniversary of this important civil rights law.

DRC is affiliated with more than 400 Centers for Independent Living across the United States. They provide free services to people with disabilities of all ages and types of disabilities.

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“Our goal is to support them to be as independent as possible whether its at school, at work, living independently at home, participating in activities in the community, anything we can do to help educate them and empower them to find the tools and resources to live independently,” said DRC Executive Director Gloria Garton.

Recognizing someone with a disability isn’t always apparent.

“More than 51 percent of our staff have a disability and our board of directors is also primarily made up of people with disability, both visible and invisible,” Garton said. “When people come to us with a disability, we try to match them up with somebody who might already know a little bit about what they’re going through.”

DRC provides assistance to individuals in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Columbus and Onslow counties.

“The ADA is important to anyone with disability because it gives them equal access and prevents discrimination in all aspects of our daily life,” Garton said.

During this anniversary month, the DRC plans to host a virtual summer camp for youth which is free and open to young adults with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 26. It will be a one-hour session every Thursday in July starting July 9 from 10-11 AM. Each week will cover a special topic related to living well with a disability during times of an emergency like the pandemic or a hurricane.

Young adults will have a chance to talk about how the pandemic is impacting them. There will be a different topic related to each Thursday. Interested young adults will need to register in advance and inform organizers of any special accommodations they may need by contacting Stevie Toole at stevie.toole@drc-cil.org.

The DRC is also offering a free social media safety workshop on Tuesday, July 21 10-11 AM via Zoom. Pre-registration is required (see email above).

To learn more about the ADA or DRC, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Click here to learn more or call the office at 910-815-6618.