See How the Americans With Disabilities Act Has Changed Over the Last 25 Years


On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. The legislation was designed to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Since its inception 25 years ago, the ADA has changed and adapted as we get closer to a more accessible, equal world. There’s still a ways to go, though, so awareness and advocacy are important now more than ever. But to understand where we need to get, it’s a good idea to see where we’ve come from. Below are eight defining moments in the history of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If you or a loved one lives with a disability, we want to know: what modifications would you make to the ADA? Let us know in the comment sections below.

ADA@25 copy 2

Text from the infographic above:

1986

The National Council on the Handicapped (National Council on Disability) proposes the first “comprehensive” equal opportunity law.

1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becomes law on July 26, 1990.

1991

Title I, II, III and IV become law.

Title I prohibits workplace discrimination.

Title II secures access to services, programs and activities provided by state and local government such as public schools.

Title III requires public accommodations such as wheelchair ramps

Title IV provides telecommunications services for the hearing and speech-impaired.

1999-2002

The Supreme Court narrows the definition of “disability,” excluding people who use “mitigating measures” such as medication.

2008

The ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) becomes law and provides broad protection from discrimination for people with cancer diabetes, epilepsy and other conditions.

2010

Rosa’s Law passes, changing “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” in most journals.

2014

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passes, allowing people with disabilities to set up tax-free savings accounts for essential services without losing government benefits.

2015

The 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, July 26th, 2015!

*Source: http://adata.org/ada-timeline 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

5 Times YouTube Got Real About Mental Health

With 1 billion users watching 6 million hours of video per month, YouTube is a powerful tool for sending a message. That’s why we’re giving a shout-out to five YouTube stars who’ve used their platforms to talk about mental health, spreading awareness and acceptance to their loyal followers and sending a message to help fight [...]

This Little Boy With Autism Has a Support Kitten Named Toilet Paper

This is the sweet story of a boy and his kitten. Oscar is a 5-year-old with autism. His mother, Ambra King, writes eloquently about her journey raising him on a Facebook page and blog called “Letters From a Spectrum Mom.” Several of her posts have also been featured on The Mighty. Recently, the Letters From a [...]

How to See My Child’s Invisible Disability

There’s that old saying, “Seeing is believing,” and once we’re able to believe in something, we begin to understand it. But some things are hard to see, and in the last six years, I’ve come to realize my daughter’s disability is one of them. Prior to being diagnosed with ADHD and sensory processing disorder (SPD), my daughter was labeled [...]

5 Ways to Support Special Olympics If You Can’t Attend the Games

Athletes from all over the world will participate in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles from July 25 – August 2. One way to show the more than 6,500 athletes that you care is to be a “Fan in Stands,” cheering for participants throughout the competitions. But if you can’t make it this year, you can [...]