“The Americans with Disabilities Act: The challenges it has posed for both employers and recipients since its inception to today and beyond.”
In 1990, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, business-community leaders, disability rights activists, and the executive branch of the Federal government enacted landmark civil rights legislation that has had profound and arguably positive impact on American life. The Americans with Disabilities Act provided legal protections for those individuals with disabilities, requiring accessibility guidelines for public and private institutions and prohibiting discrimination by the same employers based on disability. In the two decades since its introduction, millions of disabled individuals have benefited and become productive members of the workforce, but this has not come about without significant legal fine-tuning through court challenges by both employees and their employers. Through an examination of the original precepts and protections lain down at the ADA’s beginnings and the legal decisions which have sculpted it into its current form, this portrait will display how this legislation has altered and narrowed in scope over time. Further, this treatise will examine the motivations behind the newly enacted ADA Restoration Act, who benefits most, and the possible fallout of costs for employers upon its enactment. Through this assessment, it is my intent to give a more balanced perspective on the state of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how this crucial legislation will go forward and evolve to serve individuals and the business community as a whole.
The Pre-History of the ADA up to enactment-
To many, the origins of the disability rights movement began with the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, but in reality fight for these rights began much earlier. Many of the strategies adopted by the early activists mirrored those utilized by the...