The Americans with Disabilities Act: The ADA at 30 Years

July 27, 2020


On July 26th, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. 30 years later, we celebrate the passage of this historic law and take a look at some of the resources on disability law included in the SLL's collection.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, access to businesses and government services, and other areas of public life. You can read the full, current text of the ADA online (including the amendments added from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008) in Chapter 126 of Title 42 of the United States Code

For a thorough introduction to the ADA, we recommend reviewing the ADA National Network's page titled What is the Americans With Disabilities Act? (ADA) for a summary of each section of the ADA, information on the government agencies that regulate different portions of the ADA, and links to glossaries, FAQs, videos on future issues, and more.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice has created a page on their website celebrating the 30th anniversary with personal stories and a look at the ADA's impact on accessibility over the last 30 years.

Texas Resources

The ADA National Network is composed of ten regional centers to help with specialized local information, compliance, and assistance. Texas is represented by the Southwest ADA Center in Region 6. You can find information, training, webinars, a disability law index, and more on the Southwest ADA Center's website

Founded in 1977, Disability Rights Texas is a protection and advocacy agency that helps fight for the legal rights of people with disabilities in Texas. Learn more about their work, resources, and information from the Service Priorities page of their website

Library Resources

The library has a number of eBooks and other resources on disability rights in the Disability Law page of our Digital Collection. In particular, we recommend the following: 

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) handbook by Perritt, Henry H. Wolters Kluwer. Sixth edition. This eBook includes a legislative history of the ADA, information about government and employer obligations, and forms and procedures. Please note that you will need a library account to access this title, which you can register for online.
  • Disability Law Handbook by the ADA National Network, 2015. This online resource is an incredibly thorough and straightforward explanation of how the ADA applies to many different situations, including employment, public accommodations, service animals, transportation, social security and disability, housing, air travel, and more. 


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