Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ADA 22 Years Later

Twenty-two years ago, on July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law making it the first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. The National Archives is featuring Presidential records related to disability history on a new web research page. The site has many records relating to American citizens with disabilities, from personal letters to historic legislation, that provide insight into efforts over the past century to establish programs and to protect the rights of people with disabilities. The documents are also available on, a partner of this project. Featured documents include:

• The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
• President George H.W. Bush's speech notes from the ADA signing ceremony
• A White House memo regarding correspondence between Eunice Kennedy Shriver and President
• Lyndon B. Johnson about advocacy for intellectual disabilities
• A statement by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the founding of the March of Dimes.
• Letters from Helen Keller to President Herbert Hoover

The Brooklyn Law School Library has in its collection a number of items to help researchers better understand this landmark legislation. Among them is the 3rd edition of Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act by William D. Goren (Call #KF480 .G67 2010). The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) became effective January 1, 2009 changing several significant respects of the original ADA. While the ADA remains an extremely broad and comprehensive law, this book highlights various aspects of the ADA, so that by the end, the reader will have an excellent overview, as well as a framework for dealing with the ADA in a preventive manner.  Topics include:

• ADA as it relates to professional sports
• Genetic Nondiscrimination Act
• Undue hardship and reasonable accommodation
• Pre-employment medical exams
• Alcoholism and drug addiction
• Public accommodations and commercial facilities, and other specific topics

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