ADA 30 years old anniversary will be celebrated on July 26, 2020. The act which was passed into law in the 80s is aimed at ensuring safety, protection and equal rights for people with disabilities. The act ensures that people with disabilities have equal employment opportunities, are not discriminated against when seeking government services, get access to public and commercial facilities like hotels and restaurants, can communicate through nationwide telecommunications services if they have speech or hearing disabilities and are not discriminated against when seeking other miscellaneous services across the country.
How useful is ADA to the disability community, what has happened since the 30 years of ADA? Well, there have been a total of 20 Supreme Court rulings related to the ADA, four of which narrowed the definition of disability. One of the rulings stated that institutional isolation of people with disabilities was also a form of discrimination and bias.
The ADA Act was amended in 2008 to “counteract the Supreme Court’s narrow interpretation of disability and provide broad protection from discrimination.” It included language that states learning, reading, thinking and concentrating fall under life activities and mandates that schools provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who meet the requirements but may not qualify for some disability services.
ADA has changed the face of transportation, in fact, the transportation regulations were added and updated since the 90s and the transportation industry is getting more inclusive every day. New regulations closed some of the gaps, including the most recent 2015 amendment that states that transportation entities need to make reasonable modifications or accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities have access. For example, if a person in a wheelchair wants to board a bus but they can’t from the sidewalk or construction blocks them, the bus driver should adjust the boarding location and make provisions for more assistive products.
There have been a lot of changes in society since the birth of ADA in the 80s.
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