By Emily Lovett – NSM paralegal
National Disability Independence Day is observed on July 26th. On this date in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed to provide protections from employment discrimination and advocate for better access to goods, services and communications for people with disabilities.
In observance of National Disability Independence Day, Emily Lovett, an NSM paralegal, shared what this day means to her.
“When I think of this day, I think of my parents, who are no longer with us. No one knows when or how a disability will come into their lives and affect their everyday living and family. It happened to me approximately seven years ago when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and my father was diagnosed with dementia around the same time.
While my mother survived her cancer, my father’s dementia worsened, and both ended up having to be in nursing homes in separate places due to their separate conditions. That is the day my life changed forever. The years of routinely visiting two separate nursing homes, overseeing all of their care, working full time and raising my daughter and step-children required me to dig deep to find joy and solace. Throughout my father’s dementia, while devastating and exhausting, I found ways to actually enjoy my visits with both my father and the new family I gained with the other dementia patients. Me and my new family laughed, I heard some wild stories, I learned how to role play depending on their mental status that day, we colored, and each time I left, I giggled on the way to the car thinking about my visit. Had I not understood about the ADA and all the services my father and mother were entitled to, I am not sure I could have made it through. For those that are going through something similar, education of what is available to you and your loved ones is the tool that will help you get through. My experience makes me so proud to be working with NSM and to be involved with a company that truly is about helping people with disabilities in their time of need.”