Happy Birthday, ADA!
- The law that greatly improved the civil rights and equal treatment of people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act, turns 32 this year.
- This law applies to public-facing privately-owned organizations and state and local governments.
- The ADA requires the removal of both physical and communication barriers.
- 1 in 4 American adults is living with a disability of some type.
- Providing your customers with accessible documents like braille, large print, audio, and accessible PDFs helps your organization comply with ADA standards and give your customers a great experience.
Throwback to 1990
July 26 holds great significance for Americans, even though many may not know it. It’s the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becoming law in 1990. Happy birthday, ADA! This law improved the civil rights of millions of Americans and was a step toward equal treatment, so it’s a day worth celebrating.
Before the Americans with Disabilities Act was law, people with disabilities encountered exclusion and unnecessary hurdles in many aspects of their daily lives. There were often barriers to accessing goods, services, and information. Did you know that it was legal to discriminate against and not hire people with disabilities before the ADA was passed?
When President George H. W. Bush signed the act, he said something that sadly rang true for many: “Let the shameful wall of exclusion, finally come tumbling down.”
5 Titles Worth Celebrating
Let’s dive deeper into what the Americans with Disabilities Act says.
Title I ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to employment opportunities and benefits. This section of the law requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.
Titles II and III prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in public settings. Title II focuses on how state and local governments can be more inclusive. It outlines how agencies can remove physical and communication barriers. This includes architectural barriers and methods of communication that customers will encounter.
Title III deals with privately-owned public-facing organizations. These businesses include hotels, private schools, doctor’s offices, and restaurants. Like Title II, it provides direction for removing physical and communication barriers.
Title IV requires telephone and internet companies to make their services accessible to people with speech or hearing disabilities.
Title V deals with the law’s provisions and lists conditions that are not considered disabilities.
Why The ADA Matters
We often take being able to do mundane activities for granted. When we enter a restaurant, we assume we’ll be able to read the menu. When we receive mail from our bank or doctor, we expect to be able to read it. But what if we couldn’t? How would we get the information we need?
This post was written by Braille Works.