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ADA Series Commemorates Upcoming Anniversary

This month will mark two decades since the landmark passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990, the ADA was signed into law signed into law by President George H.W. Bush with the promise of fostering full and equal access to civic, economic and social life for individuals with disabilities. Upon its passage Senator Edward M. Kennedy said:
"The act has the potential to become one of the great civil rights laws of our generation…This legislation is a bill of rights for the disabled, and America will be a better and fairer nation because of it. "
Indeed, over the last 20 years, the ADA has become one of our country’s most important—and treasured—civil rights laws. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications, as well as federal, state and local government programs. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is a core steward of the ADA; it works with other federal agencies to enforce the law.  Speaking recently at a national disability rights conference, Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, said:
"Individuals with disabilities faced every day the indignities of not being able to enter public buildings or get on a public bus, of being barred from attending schools and getting jobs.  The passage of the ADA was a watershed moment in our nation’s history.  The ADA literally opened millions of doors for individuals with disabilities across this nation."
To commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary, the Civil Rights Division will publish a series of articles on the blog featuring stories and examples of how the ADA has touched lives and furthered opportunities for individuals with disabilities. These articles will also explore today’s emerging priorities in the Justice Department’s enforcement of the ADA. We invite you to visit regularly during the month of July to learn more about the ADA.
Updated April 7, 2017