The City of Scottsdale is a pioneer in providing services to address the needs of our community members with disabilities.
The city’s Adaptive Services Division is a nationally-recognized office that offers essential services and opportunities for training, education, entertainment, life skills, and outdoor recreation.
Furthermore, our public schools present a great range of programs to assist students of all abilities preparing for their life’s journey. Also, there are numerous, renowned non-profit agencies which call Scottsdale “home.”
These organizations provide essential services to, and advocate on behalf of, every single Scottsdale resident.
Helping those with disabilities has been one of my life’s missions.
I have been honored to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for one such Scottsdale-based charitable organization, the Miracle League of Arizona.
The MLAZ provides an opportunity for people with special health care needs to experience the joy of partaking in “America’s Pastime,” baseball, in a safe and supportive setting. The group’s work is magical to witness. But as I listen to parents of special needs students, I am increasingly aware that we have fallen short of full inclusion on both national and local stages, and in the creation of true equal access.
Earlier this week, our nation celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Modeled after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it’s a landmark civil rights law designed to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. And while both the Civil Rights Act and the ADA offer protections and prohibit certain discriminatory practices, neither has fulfilled the promise of true equality of opportunity, or guaranteed justice for all.
Even with its shortcomings, the ADA has effectively built a floor on which every person can stand when reaching for the ceiling of equal opportunity. We observe this in Scottsdale. This floor has enabled meaningful progress and advanced inclusion. But more can, and must, be done.
As a candidate for Scottsdale City Council, I pledge to do more. I will listen to the voices of those who face obstacles and may have nowhere to turn. Our city needs a leader who will tell all of our community members, “Why just reach for the ceiling when you can reach for the stars?”
Editor’s Note: John Little is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council in the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election.