A Brief History of the ADA

July 1, 2019 5:43 pm Published by

What is the ADA? How did this legislation come into existence, and how does it apply to transportation service in Tacoma, WA? Use the following FAQ to familiarize yourself with this key piece of legislation.

What is the ADA?

The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law is designed “to assure the equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities.”

This act was an effort between both major political parties and federal and state governing bodies, and it became the first comprehensive plan to establish equality for those with disabilities. The ADA “bans discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public accommodation, public services, transportation and telecommunications.”

When was the ADA established?

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. When signing this into law, President Bush declared, “Three weeks ago we celebrated our nation’s Independence Day. Today we’re here to rejoice in and celebrate another ‘independence day,’ one that is long overdue. With today’s signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence and freedom.”

How did the ADA get started?

The treatment of individuals with disabilities has a long history of inequality. In the colonial era, families were expected to take care of any members with disabilities. With no assistance and a lack of equality, these members were often abandoned or allowed to die. In the early 1800s, we saw a shift toward institutional care for individuals with disabilities. These scenarios weren’t much better, as institutionalized individuals were often abused, and the goal was simply to keep them away from the rest of society.

By the 1920s, more and more Americans were living with disabilities. War veterans came home with injuries. Advances in medicine allowed more to survive illness and injury that left them with disabilities. At this time, we began to see a shift toward working to help these individuals integrate into society rather than shut them away. Efforts were made to provide assistance and accommodations to allow those with disabilities to contribute to society in a variety of ways.

As the decades passed and other events such as the Civil Rights Movement occurred, it became more and more obvious that this segment of the population needed further establishment of their rights. This realization led to the eventual signing of the ADA. Seeing a need for changes to the legislation, Congress enacted the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which broadened the definition of disability.

ADA and Transportation

As a premier non-emergency transportation service in Tacoma, WA, Around The Sound/TransPro offers transportation that adheres to ADA standards. Our quality transportation vehicles are well-maintained, lift-equipped minibuses, vans and sedans. We can transport everybody, including those in wheelchairs, those using crutches or walkers and those with service animals. We guarantee our service to be prompt and reasonably priced, getting you to your destination safely every time. Contact us today to schedule your next ride.

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