|Em's Coffee Co|
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa -- ‘I am the boss down here,” Emilea Hillman declared one afternoon last week. “I have six employees. Ain’t it cool?”
But for a federal law passed two years after her birth, it’s doubtful Hillman would be working today, let alone running Em’s Coffee Co.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed 22 years ago today by President George H.W. Bush, extended civil rights protections to those with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.”
Ensuring a place in the mainstream of American life for those with disabilities meant a change in attitude that’s often taken for granted by a generation that grew up with the act.