Coming up on 24th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Friday marks the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

From workplaces to schools, the civil rights law allows for equal opportunities.

Thursday, Newschannel 3 spoke with a Kalamazoo man who continues breaking through barriers, thanks in part to the ADA.

For much of his adult life, Mark Campbell worked various physically demanding jobs.

Even today, after having suffered a stroke, he manages to muster up the energy for hobbies like gardening--but it hasn't been easy.

"My mind is to the point where it wants to keep up; it wants to go wherever I go," he said. "Each and every day I try to make it function...up to the task that it has before me."

Staff at the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan helped Mark overcome so many obstacles.

Among them: his own apartment and access to income, transportation, and health care.

"We continue to do education every day to make sure that our community members are knowledgeable about the rules and standards within the ADA," said Disability Network CEO Joel Cooper.

The group operates as a watchdog, of sorts, for ADA compliance, and Cooper is celebrating the strides made in the last two decades--like proper signage and parking accessibility at public and commercial sites.

"We need more awareness; we are always welcoming folks in our community to learn more about the ADA," he said. "Whether it's employment, our public and governmental agencies; we're still pointing out many things that could be improved."

Those improvements are important for people like Campbell, who may not otherwise be equipped to fight for them alone.

In honor of the 24th anniversary of the law's passage, the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan is celebrating, and you're invited.

The party is from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Friday at 517 E. Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo.