Congress Enacted The Equal Opportunity For Individuals With Disabilities Act

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In 1990, Congress enacted the Equal Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities Act, more commonly known as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.” This followed four years of work by the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, procedures, and practices. In 1986, the National Council on Disability recommended that the U.S. Congress enact a comprehensive equal opportunity law for individuals with disabilities. In 1988, the National Council on Disability drafted the first version of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was introduced by Sen. Weicker and Rep. Coelho in the 100th Congress.
Prior to the ADA, only federal agencies and federally funded programs were legally required to provide protection and accommodations for disabled individuals. The protection, provided by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), required that all federal and federally assisted facilities and programs be made accessible. However, the Rehabilitation Act alone did not provide sufficient protection to individuals with disabilities; the ADA significantly expanded the protection accorded to disabled individuals under the Rehabilitation Act by including

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