A Reflection on the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

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Today 22 years ago the Americans with Disabilities Act came into effect. The Act covered a variety of services including:

  • Title 1 Employment: Persons with disabilities can apply to jobs, be hired and not be afraid of being discriminated against or fired for having a disability.
  • Title 2 Public Entities (and public transportation): Providing accessibility in trains,buses, taxis, airplanes and other means of transportation.
  • Title 3 Public Accommodations (and Commercial Facilities): creating accessibility at schools, hotels, businesses, and other structures.
  • Title 4 Telecommunications: Providing a communication line for people with are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Title 5 Miscellaneous Provisions it prevents retaliation against someone for using their rights under ADA or who provides those rights as well as other provisions.

Over the years since its passage, there have been many benefits to the law which we experience daily, and which have in many ways become the norm. The law over the years has been critiqued for language and missing important civil rights, leading to the 2008 passage of the ADA Amendments Act. The ADA has helped lead to the United States Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities expanding the conversation on disability civil rights throughout the world. The Americans with Disabilities Act is not a perfect law, and with each new generation it will be further expanded to fit the needs of new and future generations. The ADA has, however, successfully led to a larger conversation in disability civil rights in the United States and all around the world.

Today we all celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act for expanding disability rights in the United States and opening the door to continue the pursuit of equality for all people with disabilities.

Dustin Hausner
Young Democrats of America
Disability Caucus Chair