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.

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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 


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