ADA Amendments Act Becomes Law
Feature Story by Tyler Lewis - 9/25/2008
President Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 into law on September 25. The law restores Congress' original intent to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
"President Bush's signing today ensures that no American with a disability will prevented from working and contributing to their communities. It is the most significant civil rights accomplishment of President Bush and the 110th Congress," said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
The new law overturns recent Supreme Court decisions that have reduced protections for certain people with disabilities – including people with diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, mental disabilities, and cancer – who were originally intended to be covered by the ADA. The ADA prohibits discrimination against Americans with physical and mental disabilities in such areas as employment, public accommodations, and transportation.
In an unprecedented show of cooperation, disability rights, civil rights, and employer groups worked together to propose language that eventually became part of the law, which made it easier for both houses of Congress to vote on the bill quickly.