Community-driven leadership development in education, health, and employment.

ADA Generation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights legislation protecting people with disabilities, passed 25 years ago on July 26, 1990. The ADA Generation comprises young people with disabilities who came of age under the ADA. Their lives, experiences, and aspirations are very different than those of their predecessors. Here are their stories.

We are the ADA Generation: Perspectives on Coming of Age Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (five photos of different people with disabilities profiled in more detail in the page below)

We are the ADA Generation

  • Headshot: Allan Brizaela

    Allan Brizaela

    Houston, TX

    This aspiring lawyer or cop enjoys playing baseball and helping others understand disabilities through open and honest conversations.

  • Ben Cooper with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

    Ben Cooper

    Austin, TX

    This dyslexic youth travels from Austin to D.C. to advocate for equality and opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

  • Anjali Forber Pratt

    Anjali Forber Pratt

    Nashville, TN

    This assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, Paralympic bronze medalist, author, and so much more advocates for people with disabilities.

  • Headshot:Sarah Funes

    Sarah Funes

    Berkley, CA

    This Berkley student interns with Senator Barbara Boxer and credits the ADA for making it possible for her to be independent.

  • Headshot: Maria Nicole Lo Duca

    Marie Nicole Lo Duca

    Tucson, AZ

    This college student shares how accomodations and supports can level the playing field and make a huge difference for students with ADHD.

  • Headshot: Alexa McBride

    Alexa McBride

    Sacramento, CA

    This advocate focuses on how centers for independent living can better engage youth with disabilities and maximize outreach.

  • Headshot: Lachesha Owens

    Lacesha Owens

    Punta Gorda, FL

    This High School/High Tech alumna has a passion for fashion and career exploration and is pursuing her AS at Florida SouthWestern State College.

  • Headshot: Edward Pahula

    Edward Pahula

    Washington, PA

    This proud father and homeowner works to shatter misconceptions about people with disabilities and advocates for independent living.

  • Headshot: Sierra Pullen

    Sierra Pullen

    Wayne County, NY

    This high school student learned about her rights under the ADA and worked to have a ramp installed at a local restaurant.

  • Headshot: Aaron Richmond

    Aaron Richmond

    Emmitsburg, MD

    This recent college graduate made a video sharing the ADA's positive and transformative impact on his life.

  • Headshot: MaKena Schwab

    Makena Schwab

    Denver, CO

    This high school student's video showcases the assistive technology she uses every day at school, home, and with friends and family.

  • Headshot: Vilissa Thompson

    Vilissa Thompson

    Columbia, SC

    This master's graduate reflects on changes since the Silent Generation and the intersection of race, gender, and disability.

  • A group of Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) youth from Peckham prepare for a career-focused tour.

    Peckham, Inc.

    Lansing, MI

    This vocational rehabilitation organization's youth engaged in conversations about the meaning of disability and the importance of the ADA.

  • Three Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) youth from the Independent Living Resource Center in Jacksonville, Florida display a banner detailing their ADA stories.

    Youth Story Session

    ILRC: Jacksonville, FL

    This career-focused mentoring program based at a Florida center for independent living shares the recipe for putting on a youth ADA story session.