Sunday, July 26, marked  the 30th anniversary of the ADA, the landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with a disability and originally signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. (Photo by: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov)

30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Commemorates Work Done and More Progress Needed

Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990, the law has required that people with disabilities have equal access to services and accommodations. From building ramps to the prohibition of job discrimination against people with disabilities, the legislation and its amendments have been in place to ensure all professionals are treated fairly.

Sunday, July 26, marked  the 30th anniversary of the passing of the ADA, a landmark civil rights legislation that was originally signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

“The struggles for access to health care and inclusion that people with disabilities face must be addressed—public health is for everyone,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., said in a news release. “We encourage all Americans to join us in strengthening and building a healthier and more inclusive Nation.”

The ADA “prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.” It also provides protections for equal access to state and local government services.

In 2009, the law expanded with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) which broadened the definition of a disability. Lawmakers overturned a series of Supreme Court decisions that interpreted the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in a way that made it difficult to prove that an impairment is a “disability.”

However, there’s still more progress to be seen. For example, the law does not provide funding for services or accommodations for people with disabilities.

In honor of the anniversary, take a look at more resources regarding best practices for managing and working with people with disabilities:

7 Things Never to Say to People With Disabilities

We’ve all heard them—culturally insensitive terms such as “handicapped,” “retarded,” and “slow” used to refer to people with disabilities. While the use of those terms or the offense they can lead to might not be intentional, it doesn’t make the words less hurtful or detrimental in the workplace. Some communications and office relations snafus are avoidable. While there are things to be sure to never say to people with disabilities, there are also things to say to better manage and work with people with disabilities. A few good tips can help any manager strengthen competency and communications skills in the workplace. Check out more here.

Helpful Tips on What To Say

The key to interacting with a colleague who has a disability is to interact with the person, not the disability, particularly if you’re meeting the colleague for the first time. It’s best to give them time to learn something about their coworkers. Ask the employee how they like their new job or even offer suggestions for restaurants to eat at during lunch. It’s about putting the person before the disability.

A useful tip for managers is to not assume that employees with disabilities need help, and instead to say, “You may not need any help, but please don’t hesitate to ask me if you do.” Find out more helpful tips here.

The ADA: A History

A lot has changed and improved within the ADA legislation since the first signing in 1990, but there’s still more work to be done. Further efforts in the realm of competency and communication can be made today to continue the conversation about sustainable inclusion and advancement. Check out more insights on this here.

Sign up for the DiversityInc newsletter here. Also, be sure to check out DiversityIncBestPractices, with everything you need to advance your career. 

Latest News

Boeing Elects Lynne Doughtie to Board of Directors, Following Resignation of Director Caroline Kennedy

Originally published on boeing.mediaroom.com. The Boeing Company (No. 27 on The 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) board of directors today announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service. Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and…

NBCUniversal News Group Launches NBCU Academy, Offering Training to Universities and Community Colleges

NBCUniversal News Group launched NBCU Academy, a new, innovative, multiplatform journalism training and development program for four-year university and community college students through education, on-campus training and online programming. Originally published on corporate.comcast.com. The initiative includes a curated onsite curriculum for hands-on learning experience with world-class NBCU News Group journalists,…

Kaiser

Kaiser Permanente: Committing $8.15M for Racial Equity

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org. Grants to grassroots and nonprofit organizations will help address structural racism and practices that prevent communities of color from achieving good health and well-being. Kaiser Permanente (DiversityInc Hall of Fame), the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system, has awarded $8.15 million to support dozens of nonprofit…

Toyota Research Institute and Stanford University’s Dynamic Design Lab Study How to Improve Automotive Safety

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com. Inspired by the Skills of Professional Drift Drivers, Research Seeks to Combine the Technology of Vehicle Automation with Artificial Intelligence Algorithms What if every driver who ran into trouble had the instinctive reflexes of a professional race car driver and the calculated foresight of a supercomputer…

Tribal elder

Loss of Tribal Elders Due to COVID-19 Decimating Indigenous Populations; Colorado Revamps Common-Law Marriage Requirements, Making Them More Friendly for LGBTQ Couples; and More

Loss of tribal elders due to COVID-19 decimating Indigenous populations. The Muscogee, Navajo, Blackfeet Nation, White Mountain Apache and Choctaw tribes are among the many communities of Indigenous people suffering irreparable losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Times reporter Jack Healy has reported. Already impacted by infection rates…

Justice for George Floyd

Officer Who Pressed Knee Into George Floyd’s Neck to Stand Trial Alone; Judge Halts Federal Execution of Lisa Montgomery, Only Woman on Death Row

Officer who pressed knee into George Floyd’s neck to stand trial alone in March. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — the man who can be seen on video pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck for an excruciating 8 minutes and 46 seconds — will now stand trial alone,…

BASF Starts Global Registration for New and Environmentally Friendly Insecticide Active Ingredient

Originally published on BASF.com. BASF ranked No. 14 on The 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Regulatory dossiers for Axalion™insecticide submitted in Australia and Korea Active ingredient with novel mode of action and high compatibility with beneficial insects, including pollinators First sales for Axalion-based products expected by 2023…

TIAA’s Roger Ferguson on Solving the Student Debt Crisis

CEO Roger Ferguson shares how TIAA (No. 9 on 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) teamed up with loan wellness platform Savi to help nonprofit workers reduce monthly student debt payments and work toward forgiveness. Watch his full talk at the link below. https://www.tiaa.org/public/foward-focus-/episode-7-your-financial-future-the-path-forward