Hailed as the Bill of Rights for people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 has fulfilled much of its promise since it went into effect 20 years ago, according to an online survey of disability leaders, released July 22, 2010. But the findings also uncover new challenges.
Lex Frieden, convener of the National Advisory Board and professor of biomedical informatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), authored the non-scientific survey to gauge the ADA’s impact on the disability community after 20 years. The survey was conducted June 22 through July 9, 2010. More than 800 participants responded from more than 400 communities in all 50 states.
“Overall, more than 90 percent of survey respondents believe that the quality of life for people with disabilities in communities across the United States has improved greatly since the passage of the ADA,” Frieden said. “But, respondents also pointed out that there are opportunities to be realized and challenges to be overcome.”