The 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)!

the graphic for the ada 34th anniversary it says ada 34

By: Celeste Mazloum

This month marks the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on July 26, 1990. The bill was first introduced to Congress in April 1988, and over two years, it went through several drafts, revisions, negotiations, and amendments before it was finalized in 1990. However, it is important to note that this call for advocacy didn’t just drop from the sky. It was accompanied by the decade-long “Disability Rights Movement,” which developed momentum and respect for the disabled community. In effect, members of Congress increasingly began to use their voices to speak up for the civil rights of the disabled community. 1988 also happened to be a presidential election year, and Vice President Bush made a campaign promise that if elected, he would arrange a bill that integrated people with disabilities into the mainstream of American life. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush kept his promise by signing the ADA into action.

Today, and as long as it has been enacted, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a haven for people with disabilities, ensuring they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The law prohibits discrimination towards disabled individuals, ensuring they can access jobs, schools, or transportation. It also ensures that private businesses, like restaurants and movie theaters, are accessible and open to the public.

The law is broken up into five parts:

Title I – Employment

● Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other employment privileges.

● Title I of the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees, such as making existing facilities accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquiring or modifying equipment, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

Title II – Public Services: State and Local Government

● Title II prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public entities’ programs, activities, and services. This includes public transportation and all state and local government agencies, such as public education, law enforcement, public transportation systems, public health, and social services.

● Title II requires all public entities to make their programs accessible, including modifying policies, practices, and procedures, providing auxiliary aids and services, and ensuring that buildings and facilities are accessible.

Title III – Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities

● Title III prohibits discrimination based on disability in the activities of places of public accommodations, including businesses and non-profit service providers that are public accommodations, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, private schools, daycare centers, and recreation facilities.

● Title III requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities like factories, warehouses, or office buildings)—to comply with ADA Standards.

Title IV – Telecommunications

● Title IV requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allow individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone.

● Title IV requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.

Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions

● Title V contains various provisions that apply to the ADA as a whole, including:

● Prohibiting coercion, threats, or retaliation against individuals with disabilities or those attempting to aid people with disabilities in asserting their rights under the ADA.

● Requiring the U.S. Access Board to develop accessibility guidelines for designing, constructing, and altering facilities and buildings.