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American Disabilities Act 1990 Essay

5788 words - 24 pages

Americans with Disabilities Act 1990

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 is “one of the farthest-reaching acts concerning the management of human resources.” (Noe) The act extends to the disabled protections against discrimination similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, and religion by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. People with disabilities represent a talent pool that too often goes under- utilized. ”People with disabilities experience ...view middle of the document...

He introduced the bill in the Senate on May 9, 1989. He delivered part of his introduction speech in sign language so that his deaf brother would be able to understand it. The bill was passed by the Senate with a 76 to 8 vote on September 7, 1989 and by the House of Representatives with a unanimous voice vote on May 22, 1990. It was reported by the joint conference committee on July 12, 1990, agreed to by the House of Representatives on July 12, 1990 with a 377 to 28 vote and by the Senate on July 13, 1990 with a 91 to 6 vote. It was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Upon signing the measure the President said “I know that there may have been concerns that the ADA may be too vague or too costly, or may lead endlessly to litigation. But I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. We’ve all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation; and we’ve been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred…. Let the shameful wall of exclusion come tumbling down.”
Shortly before the Act was passed an event that has come to be known as the “Capital Crawl” took place. Disability rights activists with disabilities gathered in front of the Capital Building, shed their crutches, canes, wheel chairs and other assistive devices and began to crawl and pull their bodies up all 100 of the Capital Building’s front steps. As they made their way up the steps they chanted comments lite “ADA Now” and “Vote Now.” Activists not capable of making the climb remained at the foot of the steps, held up signs, and called out words of encouragement to the crawlers. This action is reported to have convinced several Senators to vote in favor of the act. Many activists today hold it as the single even most responsible for getting the ADA to pass Congress and be signed into law.
The Act’s passage had faced stiff opposition from both religious groups and business groups. Some religious groups such as the Association of Christian School’s International opposed the original form of the ADA because it labeled religious institutions as public accommodations. This would have mad churches subject to the law and would have required them to make expensive structural changes in order to ensure equal access to everyone. In the final bill churches were no long labeled as public accommodations and thus could remain inaccessible if they chose to do so. Many businesses and business interests such as Greyhound Bus Lines and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce also opposed the Act’s passage claiming its costs would be enormous, it would hurt the economy, and it would not even necessarily improve the lives of the disabled it was seeking to help.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical and mental disabilities as well as the chronically ill. The ADA defines disability as “a physical or mental...

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