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Celebrating 32 years of inclusivity

A ceremony in Scranton on Friday marked more than three decades since the American Disabilities Act became law.

SCRANTON, Pa. — A celebration at Nay Aug Park in Scranton marked the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's been 32 years since the federal law gave people with disabilities the right to the same opportunities as people without.

"We've made a lot of progress towards the inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities, sidewalks, buildings, all types of public and private structures," said Keith Williams, Lackawanna County Disability Action Committee.

"We don't want special treatment. We just want to be able to enjoy the types of things everyone else gets to enjoy. That's employment, architecture, everything the Americans with disabilities act talks about," said Bob Fox, Center for Independent Living.

Nicholas Carr's life changed in 2017 when he was paralyzed following a car crash. He now uses a wheelchair to get around. 

He says had it not been for the ADA, he wouldn't be able to live a normal life and go to college and continue to pursue his dreams.

"Every day I'm living, I realize how wide my abilities can reach and how far, and I know I'll have a future that's worth pursuing," said Nicholas Carr, Clarks Summit.

A lot of progress has been made over the last 30-plus years for those with disabilities, but advocates say there's still a lot of room for improvement.

"I think sometimes this is the forgotten population, and it's important that everyone remember as a community that we're in this together, and to have the recognition and the proclamations today was very critical," said Kelly Brown, Center for Independent Living.

The folks at this gathering say raising awareness also provides an opportunity for businesses to attract more customers by making areas accessible for people with disabilities.

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