The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed and signed into law in the year 1990. It’s a comprehensive civil rights law that was enforced for the protection of individuals with disabilities. It covers both physical and mental impairments that substantially hinder everyday activities, including walking, hearing, speaking, seeing, sitting, or communicating and commuting in general. It prohibits discrimination in public transportation and accommodation, state and local government programs, employment, as well as commercial facilities. For this very reason, it facilitates better flexibility in today’s business environment as well.
It holds a long and oppressive history of discrimination that paved the way for the disability rights advocates chipping away from any societal barriers through legislative victories. Ed Roberts, Justin Dart, and George H.W. Bush are just a few of the numerous important people to cite. ADA is the most significant stride that shows how people have changed and have become more inclusive, ruling out discrimination in one’s level of ability.
Impact on Business Accessibility
Talking about businesses in particular, despite all the efforts made in history, people with disabilities still find it challenging to access work opportunities compared to others. An employment gap seems to be arising, and it’s more likely for a person without a disability to be employed than someone with a disability.
However, there’s a massive change in the attitudes and how people perceive someone with a disability. The reaction can be either way, but most people are getting informed on how to treat everyone with equality. Plus, the possible modifications are being made to facilitate better movement for such people.
Employers are encouraging a positive environment for people with disabilities. It makes good business sense in the hiring process, plus it even sounds ethically correct. Moreover, employees are being given proper etiquette training to teach a people-first attitude. Formal policies are drafted for the protection of the rights of disabled employees. Infrastructure is being made more accessible. In fact, ADA directs business establishments, both big and small, to make reasonable modifications, like putting up ADA signs to their usual work surroundings.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) necessitates addressing employment risks faced by people with disabilities. And Title III mandates new and remodeled buildings of any business facilities to comply with the ADA standards. Businesses that violate the act may encounter a lawsuit and steep penalties against the discrimination faced by a disabled person or for not complying with the necessary obligations.
Despite certain flaws like with most laws, people with disabilities do believe in the ADA. There’s still much to be done in terms of education, accessibility, technology, and acceptance. However, that doesn’t mean ADA has failed to make any progress. To some extent, efforts to eradicate preconceptions and discrimination against persons with disabilities is bearing fruit. But there’s a need to further encourage positive attitudes within communities that aren’t restricted to any biases.