Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, July 24, 2009

Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on the 19th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 19 years ago was a watershed moment for persons with disabilities and for all Americans concerned with the cause of equal justice.  In the nearly two decades that have followed, the ADA has empowered Americans with disabilities to fully pursue the civic and economic opportunities to which they are entitled. 

As steward of the ADA, the Department of Justice is committed to actively enforcing this critical civil rights law and will use all tools to seek compliance – including litigation if necessary – so that its promise of full equality for Americans with disabilities can finally be realized.  We are full partners in President Obama’s designated “Year of Community Living” and will vigorously enforce the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision to end unnecessary institutionalization.

It is fitting that the President will mark this anniversary by signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty inspired by the ADA that will incorporate principles of empowerment and integration into international law.  Just as America’s leadership 19 years ago inspired the world to join the cause, our renewed commitment to promoting and enforcing our laws today will continue to bring us closer to the goal of true equality for all.” 

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014