A celebration of ADA at 20 - Metro US

A celebration of ADA at 20

It may sound like a joke, but Newton native and comedian Jonathan Katz is serious when he talks about being the New York state table tennis champion.

He’s also serious when he talks about missing the mobility he once had. “I do miss the physicality in life,” he said, adding that “I don’t spend too much of my day focusing on what I can’t do, because I can do a lot.”

Katz, who created and starred in the Emmy-winning Comedy Central show “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” will talk about living with a disability — he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago — when he performs at the 20-year anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the Common today.

Katz, who uses a cane and a motorized scooter, said the message he tries to convey is that disability is not a “death sentence. It’s just a new approach to life.”

While today’s event will celebrate progress, it will also focus on what more can be done.

Oce Harrison, project director at the New England ADA Center, cited the low employment number for disabled people as an area that can be improved, as well as better access to some of the old, historic buildings throughout New England.

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