The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 21 years ago on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. It was later enlarged upon in an amendment of January 2009.
The law literally opens the doors to persons with permanent disabilities.
The original intent of the law was to prohibit discrimination against persons with permanent disabilities. It provides accessibility for disabled persons to employment and training opportunities and public accommodations, transportation and government services.
In spite of early opposition and criticism from multiple sources, including business interests who argued the costs of modifications would be prohibitive, the changes have been made.
As President Bush said at the time he signed the bill, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
Though this legislation was tailored for individuals with disabilities, it is seen as a victory for every American. It reaffirms our dedication to securing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens.
Today BAIN, Inc., Center for Independent Living, celebrates the anniversary of the passing of the ADA with a parade from Winn-Dixie Parking lot to the Bainbridge Middle School cafeteria, where there will be a program, games, exhibits and food.
The ADA’s anniversary is certainly worth celebrating.