The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAA) of 2008redefines what “disability” means by encompassing the entire range of challenges that may impact a person’s contribution to society, but still allows them to contribute because it is permitting the recognition of the impairments that the individual(s) may have. ADAA makes it easier for individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that they have a disability within the definition of ADA.
It took about ninety years for people with disabilities to become recognized as a population of their own, and for basic rights to be developed as a result of this recognition. According to Perri Meldon in her piece about disability history, organizations for people with disabilities have existed since the 1800sbut became popular in the 1900s. For example, the 1930s League of the Physically Handicapped fought for employment during the Great Depression. A1940s group of psychiatric patients known as “We Are Not Alone” supported patients in the transition from hospital to the community.
Over the course of thirty years, starting around the Civil Rights Act, the United States Congress passed more than fifty pieces of legislation between the 1960s and the passage of ADA in 1990 which brought into law the prohibition of discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, which are presented under five titles that relate to different areas of public life.
Finally, in 2008 the Americans with DisabilitiesAct Amendments Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush making it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that they have a disability within the definition of ADA. Despite that there have been legislative changes, bringing in the people that these are supposed to help has been a challenge. For example, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal court in 2018 hit a record high of 10,163, keep in mind that2013 was when the federal courts started tracking these numbers. The number of federal website accessibility lawsuits have nearly tripled between 2017 and2018 from 814 to 2,258.
The history that has been discussed here has illustrated how long it takes for an idea to become an active reality. We have to allow our policies to adjust to the social structures that develop over time while adhering to their original intents and purposes so as to address what Cone has mentioned above regarding disability as an issue of civil rights. AbiliTrek can help provide businesses with the knowledge of these changes by having updated information available through their website.