Center promotes awareness of ADA Act celebrates 13th anniversary

Center promotes awareness of ADA Act celebrates 13th anniversary Randy Chang of Westfield, IA talks with Marty Grimme and Joyce Buechler of the Prairie Freedom Center, Yankton. Grimme and Buechler met with people in Vermillion's Hy-Vee on the 13th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to help promote awareness of the legislation and resources available to help the disabled live independently. Buechler said much has been accomplished since the passage of the ADA to help improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Despite that progress, however, there is still work left to be done, she said. The Prairie Freedom Center assists individuals in a five-county area, including Clay County. by David Lias Joyce Buechler and Marty Grimme of the Yankton-based Prairie Freedom Center for Independent Living set up camp in Hy-Vee last week to celebrate.

"We're just making sure people are aware of the Americans With Disability Act," she said.

"The reason we're here is because of the 13th anniversary of the ADA," Grimme said.

Passed by Congress in 1990, the ADA is a federal civil rights law that protects 5.4 million Americans with disabilities.

The law also prohibits discrimination against individuals with a record of impairment.

Much has been accomplished in the past 13 years, said Buechler, the center's independent living skills specialist, to make life easier for disabled people.

Yet there's still work that need to bedone, she said.

"Unfortunately, there may be some businesses who may not do anything until there's a complaint," Buechler said. "Maybe there not aware of the law. That's why we're trying to make insure that people are aware of this act, and, if nothing else, give them ideas and information of where they can go for a resource."

She was happy with the progress she and Grimme made in helping people become more aware of the ADA and the services provided by the Prairie Freedom Center.

"I think there were some individuals who were very interested and took a lot of information; and there were some people who were quite as interested but still took time to learn," Buechler said. "My goal is if people can just remember the Prairie Freedom Center and link us with the needs of people with disabilities. If we can help one person make a significant change in his or her life, this is all worth it."

The Prairie Freedom Center has offices in Yankton and Sioux Falls.

"We work with people with any type of disability, and our whole purpose is to help them live as independently as possible," said Buechler. "Our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to live as independently as they choose to."

"We cover the whole southeastern corner of the state," she said.

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