Why Was the Americans With Disabilities Act Created?

Created to ensure equal rights to people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, notes The Center for an Accessible Society. Like other civil rights laws, the ADA helps to ensure people with disabilities have equal opportunities to seek employment, purchase goods and participate in society without exclusion.

Seeking justice through the court system and in congress, the disabilities rights movement wanted to make the inequities in treatment of people with disabilities apparent to the general public and to politicians, explains the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. Similar to previous civil rights activities, people sat in federal buildings, marched in the streets and blocked the mobility of buses to protest the unjustness of treatment.

A key component to the legislation is to eradicate practices in the workplace that create unnecessary differences between people who have disabilities and those who do not, according to The Center for an Accessible Society. It serves to change the perception of citizens with disabilities and how society accommodates such persons. The ADA helped people to see the lower economic and social class of those with disabilities was often not a result of the disability itself but rather a consequence of barriers enacted by society, states the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.