The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that is intended to protect against discrimination based on disability. Enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990, it affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. In addition, unlike the Civil Rights Act, the ADA also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.
In 1986, the National Council on Disability had recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. The final version of the bill was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush. It was later amended in 2008 and signed by President George W. Bush with changes effective as of January 1, 2009.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the ADA. It does not enforce any part of the law.
In addition to the Department of Labor, four federal agencies enforce the ADA:
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces regulations covering employment.
- The Department of Transportation enforces regulations governing transit.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforces regulations covering telecommunication services.
- The Department of Justice enforces regulations governing public accommodations and state and local government services.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Disabilities | whitehouse.gov
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