25th_anniversaryThe 25th Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) will be celebrated in July.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the bill in the Senate in May of 1988. It was passed by the Senate in September 1989 and the House of Representatives in May 1990. The House and Senate agreed to the joint conference committee version on July 12 and 13, 1990, respectively. The bill was then signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, July 26, 1990. The ADA has benefited many individuals since its historic passage and is celebrated annually by disability-specific and disability rights groups across the nation. 

The legislation …prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation… The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADA was originally enacted in public law format and later rearranged and published in the United States Code.

Friday, July 23, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department’s ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The official text was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010 (corrections to this text were published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2011).

The revised regulations amend the Department’s 1991 title II regulation (State and local governments), 28 CFR Part 35, and the 1991 title III regulation (public accommodations), 28 CFR Part 36. Appendix A to each regulation includes a section-by-section analysis of the rule and responses to public comments on the proposed rule.

These final rules went into effect on March 15, 2011, and were published in the 2011 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Retrieved from, March 22, 2015.

The Department of Education is one of several Federal agencies with ADA or Section 504 responsibilities.  For information related to disability rights issues, visit


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