The Americans With Disabilities Act And The American Attitude!


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was promulgated on July 26, 1990 to address the need for doing away with the practices of discrimination against people with disabilities in day to day life. And since then, the ADA represents a significant and important civil rights legislation namely Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Hostile and inaccessible conditions for basic everyday facilities affect not only people with disabilities, but also the entire community including sections of the populace such as pregnant women and elderly people. Title III of the ADA specifies that discrimination includes failure to remove architectural or communication barriers in existing facilities, especially when such removal was readily achievable. For instance, such adjustments could include the provision of grab bars or shower bars in restrooms or the lowering of public telephones for easy access to people on wheelchairs or adding Braille markings on lifts or elevator control buttons.

The law doesn't put unlimited or unreasonable or unrealistic requirements on private employers, state and local government or public accommodations. The ADA adopts a reasonable attitude by providing access to people with disabilities in everyday life without putting an undue pressure or hardships on the American business enterprises. For instance, there are only minimal requirements for restructuring or refurbishing and retrofitting existing facilities to be made accessible to the people with disabilities. The physical barriers need to be removed to facilitate access to the disabled only when the same can be accomplished without much of difficulty or expense.

As far as the attitude of an average American towards the disabled person is concerned, the behavior pattern is largely neither negative nor positive. Most people simply do not think much about disability. To overcome such attitudinal barriers of indifference, it is important to educate the American people about disability facts and to enroll them in community programs with all people including the disabled.