ADA Amendments Act of 2008: Summary & Regulations

Instructor: Michael Gott

Mike is a veteran of the New Hampshire public school system and has worked in grades 1-12. His role has varied from primary instructor to special needs support.

The Americans with Disability Act was initially passed in 1990. In 2008 the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended to expand the protections it offered.

Providing Equal Access

One of the governing principles in the United States is that all Americans are to be treated equally. To deny people access to places or services is a form of discrimination. Discrimination means a person treated unjustly or with prejudice because of a category they are placed in. In 1990, Congress passed a law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act, in an attempt to sure people with disabilities would not be excluded from basic elements of life in America. In 2008, the law was changed to better ensure equal treatment.

The Original Act

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. The goal of the law was to protect those with disabilities either mental or physical from discrimination in public life. Public life was meant to include employment, education, transportation, and all areas open to the general public such as private businesses and public facilities ensuring people with disabilities the same rights and opportunities as all Americans in public life.

President Bush signs the 1990 ADA

The Five Sections

The ADA was broken into five sections (called titles) of public life. Title I pertained to employment with the goal of giving individuals with disabilities the same employment opportunities and benefits available to those without disabilities. Title II prohibited discrimination regrading public services and Title III prohibited discrimination regrading private services such as businesses. Title IV gave the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) power to ensure equal access regarding telecommunications. The final section, Title V, was a composite of various other elements that did not fit in the previous sections.

Defining Disability

The original definition of disability in the ADA was interrupted by the Supreme Court and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a very limited manner. It excludes those with such illnesses as cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy from protections for those with disabilities. The goal of the 2008 amendments to the ADA was to ensure protections for these people.

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