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OCR Commemorates the Americans with Disabilities Act 30th Anniversary

ADA2020 Celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. This landmark civil rights law is a critical part of the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) disability non-discrimination work, along with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

President Bush Signs into Law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 on the South Lawn of the White House

Please Visit Our Website

To celebrate the 30th anniversary, OCR and the HHS Administration for Community Living (ACL) partnered to create a website that tells the story of how the ADA came to be, showcases some of the progress we have made as a country toward achieving the ADA's promise of true inclusion, and illustrates some of the work being done within HHS and across government, to continue to remove the barriers to inclusion people with disabilities often face. Most important, through short video interviews, you can hear from people with disabilities about how the expectations for access and inclusion created by the ADA have affected their lives. 

Visit today, and check back often – we’re just getting started!

Please Join Us

At noon EST on Thursday, July 30, OCR and ACL will host a HHS virtual celebration of the anniversary. OCR Director Roger Severino and ACL Administrator Lance Robertson will be joined by Lynn Johnson, Administrator of the Administration for Children and Families; Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, Director of the Indian Health Service; and Calder Lynch, Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, for a discussion of the progress we have made as a department – and a nation – in the years since the ADA established a clear expectation of accessibility and full participation, as well as the work that still remains to remove barriers to inclusion and equal access to all facets of American life.

The event will be livestreamed, and in effort to improve the viewing experience for the deaf and hard of hearing audience, there will be a second livestream that includes American Sign Language translation in a format that is more similar to in-person events.

Joan's Voice - How the ADA and OCR's Early Complaint Resolution Brought Systemic Change to COVID Visitor Policies

Susan Fandacone is the loving daughter of Joan Parsons...

Foster Mom Linda - How the ADA and OCR's Work to Enforce it Removed Barriers for Individuals with Disabilities to be Foster Parents

Linda Pitsoulis had a desire to open her home to children...

More HHS Commemorations

More Virtual Events

OCR Director, Roger Severino joined the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing virtual event, Celebrating Diversity Inclusion, on July 21.

ACL Assistant Secretary, Lance Robertson, Access Board Chair, is participating in the Access Board’s ADA anniversary event on July 29 from 1:30 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. EST.

 On Thursday, July 30, from 2-4 p.m. ET, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao will lead the Department in Breaking Down Barriers, a virtual event celebrating the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.  Secretary Chao will be joined by leaders across the government to acknowledge the accomplishments in transportation that have resulted from this landmark civil rights legislation. In addition to celebrating the ADA’s success, speakers will also discuss actions that can help ensure an accessible transportation future for all Americans.  Register for Breaking Down Barriers

More Participatory Events

Submit your reflections to the National Council on Disability "30 on ADA 30" Campaign

Join the ADA National Network - funded by Administration on Community Living’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) - in celebrating this historic milestone.  Participate in the #ThanksToTheADA social media campaign

Other Federal Agency Commemorations


Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 30, 2020