Twenty-Ninth Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On Friday, July 26, 2019, the HHS Office for Civil Rights celebrated the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Through the ADA, Congress recognized the inherent dignity of all persons with disabilities and ushered in a new era of independence, equality and opportunity.

At the signing of the ADA, President George H. W. Bush explained that the ADA was the “world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.” 

In 2018, approximately 61 million adults in the U.S. reported having a disability affecting major life activities.  President Bush emphasized how the ADA ensures individuals with disabilities have “the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.”  They contribute their gifts and talents at home, in the workplace, and in every aspect of American life. Last year, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities fell to the lowest level in over a decade.

Our Nation affirmed its commitment to upholding civil rights when President Bush so rightly proclaimed, “we will not accept, we will not excuse, [and] we will not tolerate discrimination in America.”  The HHS Office for Civil Rights ensures that individuals with disabilities receive equal access and need not fear discrimination in health care and social services programs. Although they have made a great deal of progress, they, and we, will continue to take the steps necessary to provide equal access to doctor’s offices, health clinics, nursing homes and hospitals.

Natasha Dao