The 30-Year-Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Was This Weekend

On July 26, the United States will recognized the 30-year-anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

In 1990, our nation signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which provides protections against discrimination of people with disabilities in several areas including employment, education, health care, recreation, transportation and housing.

The goal of the ADA is to ensure that people with disabilities have equal rights and access to opportunities as people without disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement about it on its website.

“CDC is committed to protecting the health and well-being of people with disabilities in our public health efforts,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “Addressing the current pandemic, CDC has heightened our efforts during the COVID-19 response to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in our guidance and have access to important public health information. We continue to work closely with our partners to deliver essential information to individuals with disabilities and their families and are creating a variety of web resources in accessible formats, including American Sign Language.”

The last 30 years has seen an increased effort to support and protect individuals with disabilities. Last year, the Labor Department launched awards for contractors who include people with disabilities. In 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued regulations on federal agencies’ affirmative action for disabled workers.

However, inequalities still persist. People with disabilities continue to face significant health disparities companied to people who do not have disabilities. Adults with disabilities are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer than adults without disabilities.

According to 2017 statistics from Brandon Gaille:

  • In countries with life expectancies over 70 years of age, people spend on average about 8 years, or 11.5 percent of their lives, living with at least one disability.
  • The poverty rate for people with disabilities: 47 percent.
  • Ninety percent of children who have a disability to not attend school.
  • People with disabilities are 1.7x more likely to be the victim of a violent crime.
  • Claims for disability benefits have climbed by more than 600 percent in some countries because of a lack of job opportunities.
  • One in three employers say that they do not hire people with disabilities because they cannot perform required job tasks.
  • Only 35 percent of people with at least one disability and are of working age actually have a job. Seventy-eight percent of non-disabled individuals, in comparison, do have a job.
  • Ten percent of the total world’s population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability.

For more information on disability discrimination in the US, check out this YouTube video:

Listen to the CDC’s podcast about the 30-year-anniversary of the ADA here.

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