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On 25th Anniversary of ADA, We Need to do More


On 25th Anniversary of ADA, We Need to do More

Kathi Wolfe

July 26, 1990, was a life-changing day for people like me. Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law.

If you’re able-bodied, you may not realize how life-changing the ADA has been for people with disabilities. Thanks to the ADA, an extension of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that Congress passed with bipartisan support, the nearly one in five Americans with disabilities have legal redress against the discrimination they face daily in so many aspects of their lives.


ADA, spending my tax dollars for a select few people. Well done! The best measure of a society is how it treats those in need.


Hardly a select few since everyone has the potential to join, whether through accident, illness or bad genes. The ADA, btw, is aimed mainly at non-federal entities since the government already had its own non-discriminatory policies in place prior to 1990, of particular importance these days as more services become privatized.

Unfortunately we are a long ways from being fully inclusive; when the ADA was established, there were many loopholes (“but it’s expensive, how are we to make any profit?!”). For example, in the film industry, many if not most documentaries are not available with captioning or subtitles - a major problem for those of us hungry for information in the era of video. There simply is no excuse to leave it out, especially with the technology available today. Just one example.