The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George Bush on July 26, 1990. This Act provides sweeping civil rights protection for people with disabilities. The prototypes for the ADA are the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination base on race, color, gender, religion and national origin in employment, public accommodations and provision of state and local government services, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits federal fund recipients from discrimination based on disability.
More than 40 million Americans (more than 411,000 West Virginians, approximately 23% of the population) have some kind of physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental disability. Even this figure, however, may not adequately express the importance of the ADA. To appreciate the full impact, it is necessary to understand that virtually every individual and every family in the United States is touched at one time or another by the experience of disability. The ADA’s far-reaching provisions for employment, state and local government, transportation, public accommo-dations, and telecommunications, therefore, have the potential to benefit almost everyone.
The ADA has five titles, which cover:
- Employment (Title I)
- State and Local Government (Title II)
- Public Accommodations (Title III)
- Telecommunications (Title IV)
- Miscellaneous Provisions (Title V)