News from Northwest ADA Center

The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.

The ADA’s four primary goals include full participation, equal opportunity, independent living and economic self-sufficiency.

It’s hard to recognize all of the activists, policy experts, and lawmakers who were responsible for drafting and passing the ADA. But the Administration for Community Living has a three part history of the ADA, from its early origins to final passage. The ADA passed in 1990 with a degree of bipartisan support that would be nearly unthinkable in today’s politically polarized climate:

  • House vote in favor – 248 Democrats, 155 Republicans, 9 not voting.
  • Senate vote in favor – 44 Democrats, 32 Republicans, 16 not voting.

The ADA for the first time required private businesses and employers to individually accommodate people with disabilities and their unique assistance needs in order to provide equal service. Most activity and resources after the law was signed were put into “educating” people and businesses about the ADA, essentially persuading them to comply. Some disabled people today see a law that’s over three decades old, with barely any official enforcement, that’s treated as a suggestion by some, and as a weird and unfamiliar mandate by others. The ADA’s true value is as a catalyst. In 1990 it changed how disabled Americans saw themselves.



For more information about the ADA contact:

Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator 

For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website:
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7