The Americans With Disabilities Act

1779 Words8 Pages
Sitting in his wheelchair at the bottom of the stairs, Zack looks up toward the front door and wonders how in the world he is going to get into the building. To Zack, getting up those seven steps is like climbing Mount Everest. For many disabled Americans, Zack’s experience was an all too common daily occurrence until the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. Before the act was passed, disabled individuals struggled to get around and do everyday activities, such as going to church, going out to eat, and getting to class on time, which were simple for other Americans.
When the Americans with Disabilities Act became a law in 1990, it enabled the disabled to take part in the American Dream. The ADA not only ensures equal access and
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At the same time, many parents of disabled children began to fight against discrimination in the schools. This led to the establishment of local groups that fought for the rights of people with disabilities (1). Before long, individuals with disabilities challenged the idea that they must spend the rest of their life in an institution. Instead, many disabled individuals began to explore the idea of living independently (1). To advance their cause, disability advocates adopted many of the successful strategies of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, including peaceful protests and sit-ins (2). An important first step towards the eventual passage of the ADA was in the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, which banned federal funded entities from discrimination against the disabled. The next major step was the issuance of Section 504 regulations that helped provide for the enforcement of anti-discrimination policies (History of ADA). The eventual passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 was the result of the hard work of many dedicated American citizens over a long period of time. President George H. W. Bush compared the enactment of the ADA to another monumental event: the fall of the Berlin Wall. He said, “And now I sign legislation which takes a
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