Americans with Disabilities Act: 19 Years Old

Last week marked the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 issuing this Signing Statement. Since then, the act has brought about changes to public spaces and buildings making them more accessible to disabled persons. It also changed laws to require employers to make accommodations for workers who have special needs due to a disability.

To mark the anniversary, the US Department of Labor issued a news release announcing that it has re-named and re-launched as According to the release:

The site now offers comprehensive information about programs and services to better serve the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities, their family members, veterans, employers, educators, caregivers and anyone interested in disability-related information. The new Web site integrates content from 22 federal agencies and will be managed by the Labor Department. The former site was revamped with social media tools to encourage interaction and feedback, and new ways to organize, share and receive information. Visitors can sign up for personalized news and updates, participate in online discussions and suggest resources for the site. New features include a Twitter feed, Really Simple Syndication feeds, a blog, social bookmarking and a user-friendly way to obtain answers to questions on such topics as finding employment and job accommodations. Additional tools will be added during the months ahead.

The site is organized into 10 subject areas: benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, employment, health, housing, technology and transportation. By selecting a category, visitors are directed to useful information on federal and state government programs and services, news and events, grants and funding opportunities, and more.

The BLS Library has a great deal of material on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which can be found in SARA, the library’s online catalog. The most recent acquisitions is Reassignment Under the ADA: Must an Employer Hire a Minimally Qualified, Disabled Employee Over a More Qualified, Non-Disabled Applicant?: A Legal Research Guide by Amy R. Stein (Call #KF3469 .S75 2009). This volume is part of a series of Legal Research Guides published by William S. Hein & Co. and is described in a Hein release that lists other legal research guides published by Hein.

Another recent item in the BLS collection is Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act by William D. Goren (Call #KF480 .G67 2006) with these chapters: Concepts underlying the ADA and key definitions — Essential functions of the job — Concept of undue hardship and reasonable accommodation in the employment context — Treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts — Preemployment medical exams/disability-related inquiries — The ADA and health insurance — ADA and the public sector (Title II) — Places of public accommodations and commercial facilities — The ADA and the health-care provider — The interrelationship between the ADA and other laws — Remedies and procedural issues — ADA and sports — Hot areas — Are you ready to rock and roll with your ADA case?