U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Jul 24, 2015, 06:00 ET from U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights celebrates with all Americans the 25th Anniversary of the landmark passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed this Act into law, for the first time in American history giving millions of persons with disabilities the legal right to engage in all aspects of life on the same basis as other Americans.  In enacting this law, the United States became the first country to guarantee equal rights of access to those with disabilities, and in leading the way, successfully encouraged other nations to follow suit.

With the passage of the law, Americans, regardless of disability, were given the basic guarantee of nondiscrimination in living a full and independent life, with access to mainstream jobs, communication services, restaurants, hotels, shops, transportation and other fruits of American life.  For the first time, employers could not legally discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is proud to have contributed to the understanding of this important law and of all other federal civil rights laws that are essential to the development and maintenance of a productive citizenry free to choose its own destiny without artificial and discriminatory barriers. The Commission's 1983 report "Accommodating the Spectrum of Individual Abilities," contributed to the protections of the Act.  The Commission continues its commitment to the Act through its reports, including "Sharing the Dream: Is the ADA Accommodating All?," and State Advisory Committee reports titled "Employment Rehabilitation Services in Michigan" and "Civil Rights Issues Facing the Blind and Visually Impaired in Illinois."

Chairman Castro stated, "The ADA has empowered so many of our fellow Americans to reach their full potential this past quarter century. However, as we observe this important milestone, we must work to move from mere compliance with the law to full inclusion of those with disabilities in the life of our nation. Furthermore, by a vote of a majority of the Commission, we call upon Congress, on the occasion of this important anniversary, to pass the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which embodies the principles of the ADA, and will continue our nation's leadership on the rights of the disabled."

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about Commission's reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov.    

Media Contact: Lenore Ostrowsky
Acting Chief, Public Affairs
(202) 376-8591

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SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights