In 1990, the United States Congress released that “some 43,000,000 Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities and that this number as a whole is increasing as the population is growing older.” The United States Congress also stated in the Findings and Purposes for the Americans with Disabilities Act that society tends to “isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities and that discrimination against people with disabilities is a serious and persistent problem.” It was noted that unlike individuals who have been discriminated against because of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, or age, people who experience discrimination of the basis of a disability have often had no legal recourse to redress such discrimination.
The recognition of this problem spurred a new disability law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA strives to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public service. Its goals are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. Overall, the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 was a huge milestone for both the rights of individuals with disabilities and social security disability law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
This new law, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was passed in 1990 to prohibit the discrimination of the disabled in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public services. The goals of this act are to create equal opportunities, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. Clear, strong, consistent, and enforceable standards were sought to accomplish this goal along with active Federal participation to ensure that the standards created in the ADA are enforced. The implications and regulations of the ADA are immense and wide reaching but here are a few examples of the statutes that are now in place for individuals with disabilities.1) No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability in regard to job application procedure, the hiring process, advancement or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment 2 ) It shall be considered discrimination for a public entity to construct a new facility to be used in the provision of designated public transportation services unless such facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs.3 ) It shall be considered discrimination for a public entity to fail to have at least one vehicle per train that is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, as soon as practical but in no event later than the last day of the five year period beginning on the effective date of this section.4 ) No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation.
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