The Continued and International Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned twenty-five years old on Sunday. Signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, the ADA was a landmark piece of legislation that required, among other things, that all colleges and universities provide every qualified student with the opportunity to be successful in all programs offered by the institution. When it was amended in 2008, the ADA extended the meaning of disability, increasing the number of people covered by the law.

In addition to the impact it has had upon students and institutions in the United States, the ADA has inspired similar laws in other countries and continues to have international importance as well. A recent conference at the U.S. State Department welcomed disabilities rights leaders from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to ask questions about the history of the ADA and dialogue with other leaders about the state of disabilities rights in their own countries and the possibility of the passage of ADA-style laws on their home turf.

National Public Radio (NPR) recently aired an excellent story, from journalist Joseph Shapiro, about the anniversary of the ADA and the State Department meeting of disabilities rights leaders from around the world.

Click here to listen and view a full transcript of the NPR story.

Last Updated February 24, 2018