20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a civil rights law that required businesses, buildings, public transportation, and other services to accodate people with disabilities. It also addressed discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace.

Title I of the ADA states that a qualified individual with a disability shall not be discriminated against. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, workers' compensation, job training and other aspects of employment. Title II prohibits disability discrimination by all public entities and the local and state level. Title II also applies to public transportation provided by public entities. Title III says 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. Public accommodations include most places of lodging, recreation, transportation, education, and dining. Under Title III, all new construction after the effective date of the ADA must be fully compliant with theAmericans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Title IV of the ADA amended the Communications Act of 1924 and requres that all telecommunications companies in the United States take steps to ensure functionally equivalent services for consumers with disabilities, most notably those who are hearing impaired and those with speech impairments.

On September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). This gave broader protections for disabled workers by making changes to the definition of the term disability, clarifying and broadening that definition which broadened both the number and tupes of persons who are protected under the ADA and other disability nondiscrimination laws.

Robert Hanye, President and CEO for the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc. in Binghamton, NY
Wendy Strobel, Director of the Northeast ADA Center at Cornell University
John Robinson, General Manager for WCNY's AXXESS Productions. Mr. Robinson is also the subject of the PBS documentary "Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story," and the author of "Get Off Your Knees: A Story of Faith, Courage, and Determination."