July 26, 2016 marks the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Celebrations of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 are taking place across the nation.
The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give 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. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.
“Since 1991, the 10 regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network have worked to change the landscape for individuals with disabilities by providing free, confidential and accurate information, resources and training to businesses, employers, and state and local governments on their responsibilities under the ADA, “ said Pamela Williamson, Director of the Southeast ADA Center. “The ADA Centers also provide free and confidential answers to questions asked by people with disabilities, their families and other advocates, as well as veterans living across the United States.”
“Because of the outreach, training and technical assistance the ADA National Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities now have better access to businesses, buildings, state and local government programs and services, as well as increased opportunities for competitive employment. And their opportunities for full participation in community life are increasing every day.”