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An Introduction to the ADA

Posted September 9, 2013

In our field, the Americans With Disabilities Act is a very important and very influential piece of legislation. Most people have heard of this law, but do not know much detail about it. That is why we thought we would write a post shedding light on the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, was enacted in 1990 and was updated by amendments that took effect in 2009. It's considered a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on ability. The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not address discrimination based on ability or disability, so Sen. Tom Harkin (whose younger brother is deaf) set about promoting a bill that would change that.

A major facet of the ADA is that it required public entities at the local level (like a county courthouse or a neighborhood school) to take reasonable efforts to make their facilities accessible by people with disabilities. Generally, "reasonable efforts" has been defined quite broadly, with courts frowning upon organizations that claim they cannot make their facilities open to people with disabilities.

Because of this part of the ABA, many buildings have installed things like wheelchair ramps or wheelchair lifts, braille signs and the like. Buildings that meet the ADA's requirements are often described by the shorthand "ADA compliant."

If you are interested in knowing more about products that can help you become ADA compliant, you might consider visiting our website. We have built it with an eye towards offering useful information, and if you still have questions, we have included our contact information so that you can get ahold of us.

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