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30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation, into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination of and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same access as others to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.

Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities. (source:


Relive this historic event by watching the video of the signing of the ADA


Things you can do to celebrate the ADA, increase your awareness about disability issues, and promote access and inclusion for people with disabilities at UC San Diego

  • Learn about the Disability Rights Movement that started with Ed Roberts, a student at UC Berkeley.
  • Read books written by powerful women with disabilities including “Being Huemann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist” and “Haben: The DeafBlind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law” by Haben Girma.
  • Watch athletes with disabilities compete in the Paralympic Games:
  • Did you know that 20% of the population in the United States has a disability and many of them are hidden or invisible? However, movie and TV characters with disabilities are rarely played by actors with disabilities. Representation matters! Learn more at
  • When providing information, think about ALL audiences including people with disabilities. Do your photos, pictures, and graphs have alt tags for people with low/no vision? Are your videos accurately captioned? Are your websites, apps, emails, and social media pages screen reader accessible? At UC San Diego, we all have the option to use SiteImprove to assess our websites and receive concrete steps to improve accessibility. To learn more and get started, visit
  • Are you responsible for setting up meetings, appointments and events either on-line (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams) or in-person? If so, one of the most important things you can do is to have a statement inviting people to request accommodations if they need to participate. For a sample statement and to see other suggestions, check out UC San Diego's Accessible Event Planning Guide.
  • Watch the documentary “Crip Camp: a disability revolution” co-directed by UC San Diego alum Jim LeBrecht. This film “….covers a summer camp and the rise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Available on Netflix.
  • Visit to download the 2020 Mental Health Toolkit: Tools 2 Thrive.
  • Consider volunteer opportunities with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) by visiting CAF provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
  • Support Veterans with opportunities for health and healing through adaptive sports and therapeutic arts Programs and get involved by contacting Follow VA Adaptive Sports & Arts @Sports4Vets to catch all the action.
  • Learn more about mental health conditions in the workplace and the ADA, and how you can support employees at
  • Check out the podcast ADA Live! at
  • The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. Visit to enhance your knowledge and view additional resource guides to understand the complex matters surrounding disability discrimination.