Lamb inspires ADA audience

Published 8:36 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Albany attorney Charles Lamb challenged the audience at Saturday’s 20th anniversary celebration of the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to stand up and let the non-disabled know what they are capable of.

Mr. Lamb’s remarks came at the Bainbridge Middle School cafeteria following an ADA walk from the Winn-Dixie parking lot to the school. He emphasized his point by relating his own personal story.

“Let me start by emphasizing that when you go swimming you should always go with a buddy,” he said. “One day, when a buddy and I went swimming, I dove into the shallow end of a pool. I fractured two vertebrae in my neck and was paralyzed from the chest down.

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“I spent two or three weeks at Shepherds Spinal Center in Atlanta and doctors told me I would never walk again, but I was determined that I would.

“I eventually did walk again and returned to school at the University of Georgia.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that before the passage of the ADA, which mandates minimum standards for the inclusion of the disabled in public buildings, the architectural design of the work place and other buildings and areas made them inaccessible to the disabled.”

Lamb is a member of the Georgia State Rehabilitation Council and chairman of the appeals committee of the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission.

Award-winning Bainbridge Advocacy Independent Network (BAIN) Center For Independent Living founder and executive director Virginia Close Harris, who sponsored Saturday’s celebration and who serves on several state disabled advocacy boards with Lamb, thanked him for his inspiring remarks and for being an ardent supporter for the disabled.

Ms. Harris received a proclamation from Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds in recognition of BAIN’s outstanding advocacy for the disabled. Ms. Harris and BAIN independent living coordinator Julie Harrell presented Lamb with a watch and T-shirt in appreciation for his address.

BAIN serves the disabled in 11 Southwest Georgia counties: Decatur, Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole and Thomas.