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Around Pasadena

Southern California Living

Event celebrates 15 years of ADA

By Rachael R. Bogert (Correspondent) | Sunday, July 10, 2005

 

Pasadena – In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Kidspace Children’s Museum on Saturday featured events geared toward the integration and education of all children.

 

Patrons visited activity stations and perused information booths. The programs highlighted the legal and interpersonal changes brought on when George H.W. Bush signed the ADA in 1990, guaranteeing proper public accommodations for the disabled.

 

“We are doing our part to celebrate,” said Roy Mueller, the museum’s education director.

 

Robert Gorski, the accessibility and disability adviser for Pasadena, said, “This helps make people aware that people with disabilities are out and about and doing things.”

 

Gorski also noted positive changes in the treatment of people with disabilities since the ADA passed.

 

The planning for this event began in January and involved several organizations for the disabled.

 

“We wanted to bring able-bodied and disabled children together in a great setting like this,” said Jennifer Sabo, the museum’s on-site educational coordinator.

 

The museum recently won the Universal Design Award from the Very Special Arts group for having handicap-inclusive facilities.

 

Attendants participated in such activities as a soccer challenge, where players wore goggles that simulated different types of vision, a sign language workshop and a wheelchair basketball demonstration with a Fast Breakin’ Lakers, a wheelchair basketball team sponsored by the Los Angeles Lakers.

 

“Now I know how hard it is for them to move,” said Chris Babaian, 9, who played in the wheelchair basketball game.”

 

Along with athletics, arts for the disabled were also represented by Theatre Bethune, a dance outreach program.

 

“It has been a slow evolution for understanding,” said company founder Zina Bethune. “But it is the body that is disabled, not the spirit.

 

“I hope this next generation of kids, the ones here today, are the ones that will realize the difference from one human to another is only how I walk and how you walk.”

 

Kidspace is at 480 N. Arroyo Blvd. in Brookside Park and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an $8 entrance fee. For more information about Saturday’s events and upcoming Kidspace programs, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/'

 

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