20th Anniversary ADA Celebrations in Washington and Boston

SALEM - It has been a big two weeks for Mary Margaret Moore.

The executive director of the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, the regional disabilities agency based in Salem, was in Washington, D.C., for national conferences and for the celebration Monday of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the landmark civil rights legislation, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Riding in a scooter, Moore took part in a march last week to the reflecting pool by the Lincoln Memorial. On Monday, she was one of the invited guests on the White House lawn for a ceremony presided over by President Barack Obama.

At one point, the president waded into the crowd and shook a few hands, including Moore's.

"He came down our aisle," she said. "I was right across from the podium. ... I think he saw my smile because I was beaming ..."

Even though the temperature was around 100 degrees, Moore said she enjoyed every moment of the day - the military band, the entertainers, the public officials.

"It was an honor, and I was humbled," she said. "There was about 500 of us from across the country, almost all of us having or living with disabilities, or family members of people with disabilities or longtime advocates. It was phenomenal."

How's she doing now, four days after shaking hands with the president and taking part in the ADA celebration?

"I am just on Cloud Nine and still floating," she said.

The Independent Living Center, by the way, holds its own ADA celebration and cookout today at Winter Island.

Credit: The Salem News