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The Americans With Disabilities Act guarantees those with physical or mental disabilities equal access to employment, buildings, communications, programs and services. Return to Overview
On July 26, 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
Much like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on which it was modeled, the ADA granted civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities, guaranteeing equal opportunity in:
In addition, the ADA established the “reasonable accommodation” standard, ensuring that employers covered by the law provide the necessary and appropriate modifications for people with a disability to perform the essential functions of their job, without placing an undue burden on the employer.
ADA covers both physical and mental medical conditions, and does not need to be severe or permanent to be covered.
“Disability,” as defined by the ADA, includes:
In many ways, ADA overlaps with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in that they provide protections for people with a disability and prohibit discrimination based on those disabilities.
But where ADA is more broadly focused on anti-discrimination and accessibility, IDEA is narrowly focused on educational opportunities and protections in a school setting.
Your child is covered by whichever law offers the greatest protection.