July 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act! This landmark civil rights law works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.
In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).
Check out the ADA National Network for a summary of the ADA provisions, as well as links to the law.
What does the ADA mean to you? Share your stories on social media and use #ThanksToTheADA and #ADA31 in your posts.
Information for this article was written by Ohio DD Council staff with material from the ADA National Network.