Bus tour coming to mid-Missouri to celebrate ADA anniversary

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COLUMBIA - The ADA Legacy Bus Tour is set to visit mid-Missouri this week, stopping in Columbia Monday and Jefferson City Tuesday.

The tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), legislation signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990 designed to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The bus features exhibits celebrating disability history and the ADA. The two-day visit to mid-Missouri will be its only stops in the state. 

"We saw there wasn't a stop in Missouri for the entire year," Heather Stewart, marketing director for Services for Independent Living, said. "We went ahead as a group and said 'We want it to stop here.' and it worked out that we were able to get the two day stop."

It will stop at the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) in Columbia Monday from 9-11:30 a.m., then head to Speakers' Circle at MU from 12:30-3:30 p.m. In addition to its regular exhibits, the tour will also show exhibits celebrating MU's disability history. MU will also hold a lecture on the history of the ADA. It will be at the State Capitol from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday in conjunction Missouri's Disability Rights Legislative Day.

Cynthia Floyd, who uses a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury in her youth, said the ADA means a lot to her.

"It's gotten awareness out," Floyd said. "I do not have to have people asking specific questions about my injury and how it impacts me." 

Floyd said there are still barriers for people with disabilities. She said one of the biggest issues is finding accessible housing.

"Places aren't made to be accessible," Floyd said. "I don't need to be in an apartment that is listed as wheelchair accessible if there's space in the bathroom, but honestly, there's usually not."

Floyd also said more needs to be done to make people, both able-bodied and with disabilities, aware of issues surrounding disability.

"I think people need to understand their rights better," Floyd said. She said people with disabilities need to become "self-advocates."