Americans with Disabilities Act at Thirty
11 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2021
Date Written: July 26, 2020
On July 26, 2020, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will turn thirty years old. On the day of its birth now three decades ago, President George H. W. Bush declared “let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”1 Over these many years, that goal has been slowly approaching, but much work remains in the area of disability rights. While the failures of the ADA have been many, its successes have been paradigm shifting. This commentary is meant to celebrate those successes, and to wish that paradigm shifting law a happy 30th birthday. Part I discusses the history of disability rights leading up to the ADA. Part II discusses the current status of the ADA with reference to some of its key successes and failures. Finally, Part III takes a glimpse into the future of this very important statute.
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