Disability rights activists are calling on Mississippians to do more to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, and many Mississippians are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the civil rights law.
Augusta Smith is with Living Independence For Everyone, or LIFE of Mississippi. She says the ADA has had a tremendous impact on the lives of many people in Mississippi, but more needs to be done.
"We need to make sure every building is accessible. Mississippi, we're a rural state, we have problems with accessible transportation, making sure that we have sidewalks, making sure that we have curb cuts. Those are the things that in rural in Mississippi that we have problems with."
Scott Crawford suffers from an advanced form of Multiple Sclerosis and has trouble speaking above a whisper, but he has been working on securing A-D-A compliance across much of Mississippi.
"We're coming into compliance slowly; I can't give us high marks," Crawford says. "It's 25 years into ADA and it took a federal lawsuit in 2008 just so that people like me can get on our bus system. I want to be independent and take care of myself to the extent that I can and be as involved and be as productive as I can be."
Disability rights advocates hope by raising awareness of the issue, more services will be provided to rural parts of the state.