National Disability Independence Day is celebrated on July 26th to commemorate the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. The ADA provides protection from employment discrimination as well as better access to goods, services, and communications for people with disabilities. This day also celebrates the changes that have been made over time that have improved mobility, safety, and the many technological developments that have made our modern world more accessible.
To help celebrate the achievements of the ADA and to continue to inspire forward-thinking approaches that fit every ability, we wanted to highlight a Plative customer that is helping youths and adults with disabilities experience their fullest life potential through participation in adaptive sports, Move United.
Move United’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation, and educational programs. The vision of Move United is that “every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their community.”
“The Americans with Disabilities Act works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, and at Move United we use sport as the model for how and what is possible when society promotes an inclusive environment where adaptation is encouraged.” – Glenn Merry, Executive Director, Move United
Move United’s mission and focus on sports help individuals with disabilities live healthy, active lives with family and friends within their communities. Sports also provide the essential confidence and motivation that leads to success in all areas of life, including in jobs, education, and society. With the help of the ADA and organizations like Move United, America and the world are working towards a more inclusive, accessible environment for all individuals.
“Move United is the national leader in adaptive sports programming, utilizing the strength of our 200+ community-based organizations nationwide to provide access to more than 70 adaptive sports so that 110,000+ youth, adults, and warfighters see the benefits of increased physical and mental health, and social engagement.” – Glenn Merry
Beyond changes to our built environment (all the physical parts of where we live and work e.g., homes, buildings, streets, open spaces, and infrastructure), the ADA has also motivated designers to enhance technology. For example, physical limitations can restrict a person’s ability to access legal or health information via digital platforms. With each advancement in technology, designers need to incorporate multifunctional approaches to fit every ability.
These advances are happening while society struggles with negative preconceptions from the lack of social interaction that the general population has with people with disabilities. Increasingly, sports bridge this social divide every day across the country on ski slopes, bike lanes, rivers, hiking trails, in the ocean, and at the gym. Stereotypes, now more than ever, are being challenged in the media.
Recognizing this unique opportunity to accelerate a movement to include individuals with disabilities fully in society, Move United seeks to ensure its database and technology are ready.
Move United has partnered with Plative to create a new interactive, best-in-class, multi-platform database to engage, track, and support Move United’s various stakeholders on the Salesforce Platform. Salesforce was a great choice as they are committed to providing on-demand enterprise applications accessible to all individuals, including users working with assistive devices, such as speech recognition software and screen readers.
“Covid provided us with a unique lens to examine how technology could play a new role in adaptive sports. We are excited by the opportunity to engage with Plative and Salesforce in pursuit of an LMS system to elevate our community’s knowledge base and to deliver a digital platform that will provide access to sports programming to every corner of America.” – Glenn Merry
Although Move United’s platform is still in development, Move United has led this engagement with an accessible-first approach. Throughout the evaluation process, Move United involved members of their visually impaired constituency to conduct demonstrations of Salesforce and 3rd party applications such as Blackthorn.io to ensure that screen readers could be used to help members sign up for events. As we move forward with the project and enter User Acceptance Testing, Move United members will be invited to participate to ensure that the platform’s design, functionality, and impact are accessible to all.
The goal is for Move United to become the de facto leader of the American adaptive sports ecosystem with a best-in-class data management system containing adaptive sports contacts across all stakeholders, both directly providing support for their constituents with an easy-to-use tool while also using this unprecedented source of data to drive adaptive sports research efforts.
Today we celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the amazing impact Move United is making on our communities. Learn more about the organization and how you can get involved to help everyone, regardless of ability, get equal access to sports and recreation.