This week on the Medcom Blog, we’re celebrating National Disability Independence Day! The July 26 holiday commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA became law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It intends to protect these individuals and provide accommodations to access public goods and services.
ADA legislation was an important milestone for disabled people because it began the long journey towards normalizing accessibility in public spaces. Narrow doorways and small bathroom stalls have become a pastime due to their inaccessibility for the disabled. Handicapped entrances, braille signs, and crosswalks for the visually impaired have become staples to make those spaces accessible to disabled people and keep those people safe.
Since 1990, the ADA has made critical additions to the law, which extended the rights and protections of the disabled community.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act was added to the ADA in 1988 and written to protect disabled people from housing discrimination. The act also protects disabled individuals against financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising. This was key to the ADA because not only does it protect disabled individuals from housing discrimination, but it also requires landlords to allow any disabled tenants to modify their housing to make it accessible to them.
National Voter Registration Act
The National Voter Registration Act was signed into law in 1993 to make it easier for all Americans to exercise the right to vote. It’s also referred to as “The Motor Voter Act,” and it requires all state-funded programs to provide services to people with disabilities by providing voter registration forms, help them complete them and submit completed forms.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA came to fruition in 1975, and it requires public schools to make free, appropriate public education available to all children with disabilities. They also must implement Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each eligible child. The IEPs must be developed by a team of experts and reviewed annually.
As our spaces and technology continue to grow, we must make certain they remain accessible to people of all abilities.
Employers should take the time to assess that their businesses comply with the ADA and are providing reasonable accommodations to employees and the public.
If you’re looking for more information on Disability Rights Information, you can call (800) 514-0301 or visit ADA.gov.