July 26, 2017 marks the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Celebrations of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 are taking place across the nation.
The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.
"Nearly 37 million people in our country have a disability and nearly 25% of today's 20 year-olds will experience disability in their lifetime. Since 1991, the 10 regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network have provided free, confidential and accurate information, resources and training on the ADA to businesses, employers, state and local governments, people with disabilities and their families, advocates, and veterans across the United States," said Barry Whaley, Director of the Southeast ADA Center.
Through the outreach, training and technical assistance the ADA National Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities have better access to businesses, buildings, employment, state and local government programs and services, and increasing opportunities for equal and full participation in civic and community life.