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Category: Public Policy

In the last several weeks we've seen a spike in outreach to the TAA encompassing stories related to workplace, housing and corporate discrimination. This is not something our community is unfamiliar with, but the national spotlight on similar topics reminds us that we must equip ourselves with knowledge. It is important to understand your rights and when they are being violated. Later this month is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark civil rights law extended the right for our community, and many others, to access public places, businesses, and to participate in the same everyday activities as other citizens. In celebration, there is a free webinar on July 29 highlighting workplace accommodations and disability rights which we hope you will attend.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George Bush, Sr. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. This includes Tourette Syndrome, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder that becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence characterized by uncontrollable motor and vocal tics.
Today not only kicks off Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, it is also the first day of our Virtual Conference 2020. There has never been a more important time to make the TAA your charity of choice. We have all experienced many changes over the last several weeks and now, more than ever, we need to come together to ensure the future of the only national organization dedicated to serving the Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder community.
It has been nearly six weeks since we all began actively working to flatten the curve, and the TAA has been doing our part by staying home. These last few weeks have been a test on all of us mentally, physically and emotionally, but it has also taught us a lot about our community. Each of you in the Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder community embody strength and resilience every single day, pandemic or not. It has also allowed for some of the most productive, collaborative and creative times to develop new and exciting programs and information.
At the time of this writing, the CDC recommendation is to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. The TAA will follow these guidelines and closely monitor updates as they become available. Online and virtual programming will ramp up in the coming days to ensure we remain your best resource during this complicated and confusing time. Please continue to check tourette.org for additional communications and further information. The TAA has closed its physical offices and transitioned to work-from-home through March 27. At that time we will reevaluate best next steps to ensure ongoing mission delivery, the safety of our staff, and the health of the organization. In the meantime, we remain 100% committed to meeting the needs of our community. All managers and staff members of the TAA team are just a phone call or email away. Please visit our staff page to reach staff directly via email with any questions or concerns.
Happy New Year! Looking back on the last decade, we have made significant strides towards greater understanding, awareness and acceptance of Tourette Syndrome and co-occurring conditions. We continue to extend our footprint across the country with more national events including the Funders Breakfast in New York City, new webinars, increased provider education programming and an expanded Centers of Excellence program. 2020 is also monumental as it marks the return of our biennial National Conference.