Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

By Jan Norwood

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush.  The ADA is an equal opportunity law for people with disabilities and outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities.

 

The ADA is one of America’s most complete pieces of civil rights legislation. It is modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination on basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

 

The ADA prohibits discrimination, guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. Persons with disabilities are insured the right to enjoy employment opportunities, purchase goods and services, and to participate in government programs and services.

 

The protection of the ADA is extended to persons who have a disability. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The person must have a history or record of the disability or be a person who is perceived by others as having such impairments. The ADA does not name all the disabilities covered by the law.

 

The law has allowed people with disabilities to have equal access to employment, transportation, education, health care, and recreational facilities and take part in everyday life.

 

 

Resource

 

Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. (2021, July 5). Retrieved from Americans with Disabilities Act: www.ada.gov

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