Amid a pandemic, the SKIL Resource Center is throwing a public party in downtown Parsons.

Each July 24, Southeast Kansas Independent Living Center celebrates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law with a community block party. This year, in keeping with coronavirus safety measures, SKIL will honor the ADA’s 30th anniversary with a drive-through celebration on Friday behind its downtown Parsons headquarters. There will be a walking/rolling lane available for those without a car.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include a free boxed lunch, music, vendors, giveaways, a slide show and an equipment drive to donate used assistive technology items.

“We are really excited to be able to have the ADA celebration this year, even though times are tough,” SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney said. “We appreciate the local government authorities who have worked with us.”

The ADA was signed into law July 24, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The comprehensive civil rights legislation gave more legal protection to people with disabilities. SKIL’s annual ADA celebration is one of its ongoing efforts to integrate the disabled with the area community.

“Looking back, we can see what a difference the ADA has made in all of our lives,” Coatney said. “We’re going to make this celebration happen and celebrate 30 years strong of our overcoming barriers. Everyone is welcome, so we hope to see you July 24.”

SKIL is a multi-faceted independent living resource center that serves people with all types of disabilities or those whose environment is disabling. Headquartered in Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan.

In addition to operating the center for independent living, SKIL also operates an alternative lending program called K-Loan that enables people with disabilities to purchase assistive equipment  and Assistive Technology for Kansans sites in Parsons and Wichita that provide assistive technology assessments and training as well as other programs related to technology.

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