The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law only 33 years ago on 26 July 1990, codifying civil rights protections for people with disabilities and prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. For information regarding Accessibility at MSU Denver, please reference the MSU Denver’s Accessibility philosophy and statement.
The MSU Denver community already has changemakers actively making MSU Denver more accessible. Here are just a few:
- Roadrunner Alumni Rick Newell: “Disability advocate changes how Colorado thinks about equality in education and employment,” MSU Denver RED
- Roadrunner Alumni Joe Schneiderwind: “This future teacher is dedicated to opening STEM to students with disabilities,” MSU Denver RED
- Charis Glatthar: “Kids and adults who are blind and low-vision get hands-on STEM training,” MSU Denver RED
The Denver Metro area has been a hub for disability rights for several decades. Learn more about the local accessibility community through the links below:
The Atlantis Community, established in Denver in 1975, states their core philosophy as: “people with disabilities should have just as much say in and control over their lives as their non-disabled peers.” Guiding people with disabilities to determine and achieve their own goals is a core focus of Atlantis. On 5 July 1978, Atlantis organized what became known as the Denver Gang of 19 protest where 19 protesters who used wheelchairs blocked two RTD busses for 24 hours, snarling traffic and bringing public and media attention to the severe lack of wheelchair-accessible public transportation. RTD eventually agreed to retrofit a third of the bus fleet with lifts. However, public transportation was not included as part of essential rights until Title II of the ADA 12 years after the Gang of 19 protest.
ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today), a nationwide disability rights organization, started as an offshoot from the Denver Gang of 19 and the Atlantis Community. Originally called Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, the organization now pushes for disability rights in various aspects of public and private living.
Continuing the Fight
Unfortunately, the rights established in the ADA are still not guaranteed. Much of society is still closed to people with disabilities. The following list is just a few of the barriers people with disabilities encounter
- In February 2023, Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds had to pull himself onto an inaccessible stage for a debate, which eventually ended up being held on the floor because organizers could not get his chair on stage safely.
- Note: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance installed a backstage chair lift, updated its website to be more accessible, and updated their ticketing system to highlight accessible seating.
- Also in February 2023, while the Super Bowl was praised for featuring singer Rihanna who was pregnant at the show, the Super Bowl had also advertised that there would be performances from Troy Katsur, three artists who are deaf but very little TV broadcast time featured these performers. The ASL performances were available online on YouTube, but fans were not impressed with the separate availability.
- “RTD’s accessibility services can be hit or miss. Here’s what some wheelchair users say they’ve faced while trying to get rides,” Denverite, the Denver site!
- Electric scooters blocking sidewalk access to disabled residents | FOX31 Denver (kdvr.com)
The CTLD encourages faculty to take a proactive approach to accessibility where accessibility is built into all aspects of courses from the ground up. It is much easier to start with an accessible design than to have to go back later and remediate inaccessible course elements.
- For faculty interested in redesigning a course from the ground up, please visit the CTLD Course Development page for more information.
- For faculty interested in working on accessible course materials at their own pace, please visit the Instructional Accessibility Guides & Resources
- For faculty interested in learning about proactive accessibility through presentations, please register for our Proactive Accessibility Certification (PAC) The following page is the direct link to CTLD Events.
- Access Center Faculty Resource Guide – MSU Denver
- ADA National Network | Information, Guidance and Training
- A Self-Advocate’s Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act: A plain-language presentation of the big components of the ADA.
- Denver RTD (adaptmuseum.net) ADAPT’s compilation of news articles about Denver RTD. Article text from the images is typed out.
- Disability Language Style Guide | National Center on Disability and Journalism