ADA Celebrates 25 Years with Heritage Signs & Displays

It’s not every day that the opportunity come along to work on projects that have a global impact.  Yet, in July, Heritage Signs & Displays was selected as Google’s printer and installer to help them celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Heritage Signs & Displays was tasked with producing and installing 10 portrait murals displayed on the entry steps at six landmark locations throughout Washington, DC.  “It was one of the most challenging jobs we’ve ever undertaken,” said Heritage Signs & Displays’s owner Joe Gass.  “I’m proud of my team for their effort to produce and install these portrait murals under an extremely tight deadline, and with a variety of challenging circumstances.”

For decades people with disabilities fought and protested for equal access in the United States. That effort culminated in the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990.  This landmark civil rights law has improved the lives of millions of Americans and has served as a model for the Disability Rights movement around the globe.

Google’s ADA campaign commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through a series of portraits that Heritage Signs & Displays installed on prominent staircases throughout Washington, DC.  The artwork featured a number of disability rights leaders, including: Patrick Kennedy, Justin Dart Jr., Judy Heumann, Ed Roberts, Tia Nelis, Claudia Gordon, Kathy Martinez, Tatyana McFadden, Tom Harkin, and President George H.W. Bush.

After printing the large scale murals in their Charlotte, North Carolina production facility, the Heritage Signs & Displays install team worked through the night to bring Google’s artwork to life on the steps at a variety of world renowned locations like the Smithsonian American History Museum and the Carnegie Library.  Heritage Signs & Displays provided ten members of their staff to be a part of the installation process that began at 5 p.m. on Thursday evening and was completed twelve hours later.  “Working at night was imperative to the success of the project,” continued Gass.  “We took over the steps of these heavily traveled landmarks – a task that would have been nearly impossible due to foot traffic during the day.”

Brent Thompson, our production coordinator in Charlotte and a member of the install team for this project, shared his observations of this special project by saying “We printed and installed vinyl graphics on the steps of some of the most amazing buildings in the world for visitors to enjoy during this weekend celebration.  The real reward for me was to witness the reactions of those who traveled from all over the United States – and the world – to experience the portrait murals that we produced and installed for this celebration.  The emotion exhibited by those who viewed our work touched me and the other members of our team.”

ADA Installation Locations:

  • Gallaudet University
  • Carnegie Library
  • Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
  • Woodrow Wilson Plaza
  • Smithsonian American History Museum
  • Newseum

Visit the Impact Challenge | Disabilities web page by clicking this link:

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