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These findings, fostered by years of work by disability activists, supporters, and concerned citizens, referred to as "a hidden army for civil rights" by author Joe Shapiro, led to the writing of the Americans with Disabilities Act – a bill to extend to people with disabilities the same protections against discrimination that were available to people on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is the first comprehensive federal legislation in the United States to address the discrimination against an estimated 43 million Americans with disabilities in the areas of employment ,public services , public accommodations, and telecommunications.

Moving beyond Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the ADA applies to employers, public services, public accommodations, communication providers, and transportation providers, regardless of whether they receive or benefit from federal funding.

Signing of the ADA
Signing of the ADA