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Hundreds Celebrate Law's Anniversary

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Decades have passed since a landmark piece of legislation changed the lives of those with disabilities.

Its been almost 24 years since an Iowa senator authored a life changing bill for people across America.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA is a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Senator Tom Harkin introduced the bill back in 1988 and many came to Cedar Rapids Saturday to celebrate its significance.

According to the U.S census nearly one in five people, 19 percent of the U.S population or about 56.7 million people in America are living with a disability. 

Saturdays event was about recognizing the law that has made their lives a little bit easier.

All pink everything, at least that's how you can tell the crowd at the veterans Memorial Stadium apart.

Some are here to watch the game, others for that reason and then some. They are here to take part in the celebration of the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"The disability act just opened the doorway for persons with disabilities, said Karin Manners-Springfield who came out to the event.

Karin Manners Springfield has been using a motorized chair for about three years now.

"My disability is a nerve disorder that I sustained after I had back surgery, she said.

It not only changed her life but also brought her a new friend.

"His name is buddy rue. I call him the wonder dog, Karin said.

She says buddy has made using a chair easier as has knowing that there's a law to prevent discrimination based on her disability. That's exactly what makes this event so special.

"It; unites 300 individuals with disabilities throughout Linn County, Johnson County and we have people here from Des Moines, we have people here from all over the state, said Tom Hardecopf, ADA Celebration Co-Chairman.

To come out and interact with each other, to know that they are not alone.

"And this is a way that we can highlight their successes, highlight what they are able to do, not what their disabilities are, but what they are able to do, said Hardecopf.

It's also a way to teach others about how to help those with disabilities.

"We have a voice. Please you need to listen to us because we are not asking for more than our share. Just what's rightfully ours, Karin said.

Saturdays event was the eighth celebration of the anniversary in Linn County. Organizers expect to begin planning for next year's event sometime next month.
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