[Video description can be found below. If you use a screen reader and need to access the caption file transcript, go to “More…” and click on “Transcript”]
How did the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) become law? Watch Tawny Holmes, NAD Attorney, share the history behind the ADA and its Passage. View the entire #ADA25 series at www.nad.org/ADA25.
Video begins with an off white vintage background. Three black and white photos appear. First photo shows a group of people marching, one holds a NAD poster. Second photo shows another group of people marching, one holds a poster “We Shall Overcome.” Third photo shows President Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Text appears “ADA25 — Americans with Disabilities Act”. Video flashes to white then to Tawny Holmes inside NAD Headquarters. On bottom left corner, “#ADA25” appears as a light watermark. On bottom right corner, the NAD logo appears, also as a light watermark.
TAWNY: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, but what some of you may not realize is the years of hard work it took to get this important law passed. People with disabilities advocated for equal rights for a long time. During the 1980’s, the Disability community became more empowered through advocacy, which included raising awareness about widespread discrimination, contacting Congress to to stop such discrimination, and suing companies and others with existing laws. All of these efforts to pass a new law were to ensure people with disabilities had equal rights. At the time, the community was frustrated for a long time because only one law protected them — Rehabilitation Act (also referred to as Section 504). Section 504 applies only to the federal government and programs that received federal funding. Any program that received federal funds were not allowed to discriminate against deaf and hard of hearing people or any people with disabilities. This was not enough because many places do not receive federal funds. The Disability community pushed for a civil rights law that would provide people with disabilities the right to sue when discriminated against even when no federal funds are involved. This push for a new law got a big boost from the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement in 1988. Thanks to the DPN movement, the world was able to see that deaf and hard of hearing people could make their own decisions and that they had a right to lead their own university (which was Gallaudet University). The DPN movement happened in March of 1988, then only a month later, in April 1988 — the ADA was passed! The NAD played a key role in the passage of the ADA. The NAD was involved in the drafting of the ADA and raised awareness with Congress. We worked closely with leaders in Congress such as Senator Harkin and other disability organizations to make sure the ADA was strong and guaranteed protection for all people with disabilities for many generations to come. We also successfully got Title IV included in the ADA which mandated the establishment of a national relay service program. This meant that deaf and hard of hearing people now had equal telephone access 24 hours, seven days a week, all year long. We are very proud of that historic achievement. The NAD continues to work hard every day to ensure that the ADA remains strong through advocacy efforts, lawsuits, and increased awareness.
Video fades to a gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. White text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2015 All Rights Reserved” with four teal social media icons, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.