President George H.W. Bush signed t
he Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990
The ADA owes its legacy not to one person, but to thousands of people who make up the disability rights movement - people who have worked for years organizing and attending protests, sending out alerts, drafting legislation, speaking, testifying, negotiating, lobbying, filing lawsuits - doing what they could for a cause they believed in. It began with the establishment of local groups advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and the establishment of the independent living movement which challenged people with disabilities being institutionalized.
The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination. It guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. It is modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities. Disability is defined by the ADA as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment."
has detailed technical information regarding standards, compliance, and accommodations. The