The South Bend Human Rights Commission recognized the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination based on disability. In honor of the anniversary, the Human Rights Commission honored a pair of residents who have worked to advocate for the local disability community in South Bend.
“The South Bend Human Rights Commission would like to memorialize this landmark event of progress in access and inclusion in our workplaces and communities,” said Crystal McCain, director of employment for the South Bend Human Rights Commission. “The SBHRC is pleased to take part in this observance and reaffirm our commitment to the disabled community by providing resources and support.”
The Human Rights Commission presented Karen Brandy-Comer and Kent Laudeman for their work and advocacy. Brandy-Comer has organized support groups for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis and served as a member of the Human Rights Commission Board. Laudeman, a retired Army Lt. Col., has been a champion for South Bend’s veteran community for more than 51 years and was the former director of Miller’s Vets.
The ADA’s passage enshrined protections for persons with mental or physical disabilities that have led to improved accessibility that have become standards of convenience for everyone, but matters of basic mobility for those with disabilities.
“We further pledge to continue our efforts to spread the message that it’s about what people can do, and not restricting people because of what they can’t do,” said Diversity Compliance and Inclusion Officer Michael Patton.