The American with Disabilities Act
"This is the
emancipation proclamation for disabled Americans."
Senator Tom Harkin,
"The National Association of
the Deaf, working with key disability advocacy organizations, was
instrumental in pushing for the passage of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990."
Nancy J. Bloch
Executive Director National Association of the Deaf
In July 1990, the broadest
legislative bill concerning the civil rights of people with
disabilities became law when President George Bush signed the Americans
with Disabilities Act. The Act made discrimination based on disability
illegal in employment, public transportation, public programs,
telecommunications, and public accommodations such as restaurants,
hotels, shopping centers and offices.
Deaf people joined rallies and
marches of the disability rights movement that led to the passage of
the Americans with Disabilities Act. For deaf people, the law would
impact access to the telephone and public events such as festivals,
tours, and plays. Doctor's appointments and other meetings became more
accessible through interpreting services, and captions became a
requirement for the television programs, rental videos, and some
publicly shown films.