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Celebrating 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Thirty years ago this week, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law—setting historic standards for the treatment and independence of all Americans. Join ACL and your peers across the Aging and Disability Networks in recognizing the ADA and the progress that has been made toward achieving its promise.

Signed into law on July 26, 1990, the ADA is the culmination of years of determined efforts by people with disabilities and other advocates. The ADA prohibits discrimination, provides standards and ensures equal access to health care, social services, transportation, public accommodations and more. By committing these protections into law, the ADA seeks to guarantee equal opportunity for all Americans with disabilities.
 
Since it became law in 1990, significant strides have been made to uphold the ADA's guarantees of accessibility, equal treatment and opportunity. But as we celebrate, we bear in mind that there is much work to be done to fully realize the promises of the ADA—especially as the nation continues to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that has underscored the necessity of protections like the ADA for people with disabilities.
 
ACL and the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights have teamed up to tell the story of how the ADA came to be through a new microsite. The website showcases the history of the ADA, real stories from Americans who have seen the ADA in action and key steps that have been made to achieve the ADA's promise. Celebrate the ADA and all of the Americans whose lives it has impacted by visiting acl.gov/ada.

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