THE: LAW - WHAT IT SAYS
ADA: Americans With Disabilities Act
The first version of the ADA was developed by the National Council on
Disability . In February, 1986, the Council issued a report "Toward
Independence," that recommended enactment of a comprehensive law requiring
equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities and outlines the ADA.
The bill was introduced in 1988 during the 100th Congress.
The ADA was reintroduced, in modified form, in May, 1989. The House
completed its action on the ADA on July 12, 1990 and the Senate the very
next day. The ADA became law on July 26, 1990 when it was signed by
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides civil rights protections for
persons with disabilities that are parallel to those that have been
established by the federal government for women and minorities. The ADA is
thus an amalgam of two great civil rights statutes: The Civil Rights Act of
1964 and the title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA generally
uses the framework of titles II and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for
coverage and enforcement and the terms and concepts of Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for what constitutes discrimination.
The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to the known
physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee, unless
such accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
The ADA provides access by requiring that all new public buses be accessible
to persons with disabilities and all new rail vehicles and all new rail
stations be accessible.
The inclusion of public accommodations in the ADA provides access to the
mainstream of every-day life. From aquariums to zoos, the ADA sweeps within
its reach the broad spectrum of sales, rental and service establishments, as
well as educational institutions, recreational facilities, and social
With respect to public accommodations and employment, the bill allows
federal court action and monetary relief for meritorious suits.