The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Americans with Disabilities Act

Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. civil-rights law, enacted 1990, that forbids discrimination of various sorts against persons with physical or mental handicaps. Its primary emphasis is on enabling these persons to enter the job market and remain employed, but it also outlaws most physical barriers in public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, and government services. Among the protected class are persons with AIDS and substance abusers who are in treatment. Some 50 million current or potential workers are estimated to be covered by the law's provisions. Studies suggest that the number of disabled persons entering the workforce has not improved significantly, and that a contributing factor may be their reluctance to lose (e.g., because personal income would exceed statutory maximums) other benefits available to them on the basis of their disabilities. The act has already been much litigated. In 1999, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that correctable conditions like eyesight requiring the use of glasses do not qualify as disabilities under the act, and a 2002 decision established that a disability must limit a person's ability to perform tasks of central importance not just in the workplace but in daily life. In response to some interpretations of the act that narrowed its enforcement, Congress enacted amendments in 2008 that were designed to make the law more inclusive.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Disability Pendulum: The First Decade of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Ruth Colker.
New York University Press, 2005
Voices from the Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act
Ruth O'brien.
Oxford University Press, 2004
The Untold Story of the Rest of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Waterstone, Michael.
Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 6, November 2005
The Labor Market Experience of Workers with Disabilities: The ADA and Beyond
Julie L. Hotchkiss.
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2003
Mind Matters: Mental Disability and the History and Future of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Concannon, James.
Law and Psychology Review, Vol. 36, Annual 2012
Walking a Straight (and Fine) Line: Alcoholism and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Massengill, Douglas.
Public Personnel Management, Vol. 34, No. 3, Fall 2005
Barriers to the Accommodation Request Process of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Frank, John Jay; Bellini, James.
The Journal of Rehabilitation, Vol. 71, No. 2, April-June 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Student's Guide to Landmark Congressional Laws on Youth
Kathleen Uradnik.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 19 "Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)"
Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights: The Battle over Litigation in American Society
Thomas F. Burke.
University of California Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Creation of a Litigious Policy: The Americans with Disabilities Act"
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