LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2015) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued a proclamation Monday, July 27, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law protecting the individual liberties of those living with disabilities.
Joining Beshear at the Capitol, Sasha Rabchevsky, a University of Kentucky professor of physiology and member of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), was recognized for his work advocating and implementing laws for disabled individuals living in Kentucky. Rabchevsky, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident in 1985, was invited to represent the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) as vice president, along with president Jason Jones from the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Together, they helped create the KCSCI four years ago. Along with other invitees in attendance, Rabchevsky was presented with a plaque inscribed with the official proclamation.
The KCSCI is a group of about 60 individuals with spinal cord injuries who are dedicated to educate and legislate change for the SCI community in Kentucky. The KCSCI has helped to advocate and implement 88 laws to help make positive changes for Kentuckians. The KCSCI is the only existing congress dedicated to legislative advocacy for individuals with spinal cord injuries at the state level.
“Our mission is to be a voice for people with spinal cord injuries,” Rabchevsky said. “The congress also allows people to have a networking channel, so if they have issues locally and nobody to contact, they can contact us and we can help them.”
Roughly 874,000 Kentuckians are living with some type of disability and are benefitting from equal access provided under the ADA. The Kentucky OVR, the Kentucky Office for the Blind, the State Independent Living Centers, the state Americans with Disabilities Office, the KCSCI, and other offices and groups joined the governor in applauding the scope and importance of the ADA.
After graduating with a bachelor’s of science in biology from Hampden-Sydney College and working as a technician at the National Institutes of Health, Rabchevsky was accepted into the University of Florida Neuroscience graduate program in 1990. Since 1997, Rabchevsky has been investigating multiple therapeutic approaches to treat experimental spinal cord injury at the UK SCoBIRC.
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