Americans With Disabilities Act

Americans With Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society.  The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

Cry Wolf Quotes

The ADA also mandates job accommodation financed by employers. Employers will be forced to restructure existing facilities, restructure jobs, hire readers, signers, and assistants in order to accommodate over 900 physical and mental impairments. This converts a civil rights measure into a mandated benefits program for the disabled. It is time we ask ourselves what `reasonable accommodation' means for American businesses. The real cost to the nation would be higher costs of production, fewer jobs, lower real wage rates, lower levels of output and income, and a weaker competitive position for the U.S. business in the world market place.

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Ron Marlenee (R-MT) speaking to the House of Representatives. The Americans With Disabilities Act.

[ADA will cost] millions of dollars annually.

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Cecelia Fepp, research analyst for the United States Chamber of Commerce, The New York Times.

Since access would now be a civil right, moreover, the cost would not be relevant--even if that means eliminating bus service or closing down businesses that cannot afford either compliance or the legal expenses of defending themselves in court. In addition, the bill would also, for the first time, grant homosexuals the right to sue over discrimination.

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National Review.

Small firms who have hired persons with disabilities have found in most cases that the extra effort makes good economic sense. I have no doubt that, faced with the demands of the marketplace, many other small firms will soon learn the same lesson.

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Sally Douglas, Assistant Director of Governmental Relations for Research Policy for the National Federation of Independent Business. The Congressional Digest. December, 1989.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.

Resources

The American Association of People with Disabilities organizes and advocates for the disability community across the nation.