July 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This sweeping civil rights legislation expanded on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally funded entities.
The ADA covers all aspects of public life, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations and telecommunications. ADA provisions cover approximately 20% of the U.S. population who have a disability, which is more than 56 million Americans. The ADA was amended in 2008 to ensure the meaning and interpretation of the ADA definition of “disability” would be broadly construed and applied without extensive analysis so that all individuals with disabilities could receive the law’s protections.
FEMA is committed to helping people before, during and after disasters, making sure that people with disabilities have access to, and can benefit from, our programs and services. This commitment ensures that we treat everyone with compassion, fairness, integrity and respect as we work with each other, stakeholders and the public.
To read about 30 ways FEMA supports emergency preparedness, response and recovery for people with disabilities, visit the FEMA Blog. To learn more about the ADA, including the full text of the law, visit ADA.gov.