American Disabilities Act Celebrates 30th Anniversary

The Missouri Governor’s Council on Disability held a celebration on Tuesday, July 28 for the 30th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act. The celebration took place in the Capitol Rotunda and featured Governor Parson as a speaker.

What is the American Disabilities Act?

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988 and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The ADA affords protections to Americans with disabilities that are similar to the protections afforded to citizens under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act came in the wake of calls for comprehensive civil rights legislation. Previously, civil rights legislation did not apply to Americans with disabilities.

Here is a brief overview of the American Disabilities Act of 1990:

Title I – Employment

In job application procedures, hiring, advancement procedures, and discharge procedures, a covered entity shall not discriminate against “a qualified individual with a disability.” Covered entities are also required to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees with disabilities.

Title II – Public Entities/Public Transportation

Public entities and transportation must be compliant with regulations that provide physical and programmatic access to all of the public entity’s programs and services that might be obstructed by discriminatory policies or procedures made by the entity. Title II also requires paratransit services by public entities that provide fixed-route services.

Title III – Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities

Title III applies to places of lodging, recreation, transportation, education, and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays. It stipulates that no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases, or operates places of public accommodation.

All construction taking place after the passage of the ADA must be in full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Facilities that existed before the passage of the ADA can be held liable for “failure to remove” architectural barriers within the facility. Title III provides explicit coverage for service animals and auxiliary aids.

Title IV – Telecommunications

Title IV amended the Communications Act of 1934 by requiring that all telecommunication companies in the U.S. take steps to ensure functionally equivalent services for deaf consumers. These services include telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD), telecommunication relay services (TRS), and video relay services (VRS).

The passage of the American Disability Act of 1990 was a sweeping civil rights reform bill. Ultimately, the act serves to level the playing field for Americans with disabilities.

An Attorney Could Help You Fight for Your Rights

If you have experienced discrimination in a public entity or place of employment due to your disability, you may be able to file a claim against that public entity or employer. Contact an employment discrimination lawyer in Columbia today to discuss the facts of your case.