President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990. Pic courtesy of the Pocono Record.
Twenty-one years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by the first President Bush. Few pieces of legislation can claim the kind of direct impact on millions of Americans that ADA has had in its two-plus decades on the books. Before 1990, Americans with disabilities lacked the legal protections from discrimination that were guaranteed to many minority groups by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ADA made huge strides toward rectifying the inequities preventing those with disabilities from living full, happy lives. In addition to explicitly banning discrimination against millions of Americans, the Act also mandated many of the accommodations we now take for granted. Curb cuts on sidewalks, ramps at public and commercial buildings, and closed caption television were all included in this landmark law.
Fortified by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the ADA has matured into a fixture of American law and culture. There is still work to be done–work that BlazeSports is dedicated to continuing–but is worth recognizing this turning point in the campaign for disability rights.
Happy birthday, ADA! If you were a person, we’d throw you a party.