The 1990s and the New Century: The Legislation Broadens

The Americans with Disabilities Act (P.L. 101-336) was passed in 1990. It extended all civil rights protections to people with disabilities including protection from accommodations, telecommunications, and activities of state and local governments. The ADA's definition of disability built on the definition used for developmental disabilities, but applied it more broadly. While the Developmental Disabilities legislation required a functional limitation in three or more areas, the ADA included anyone with a functional limitation in one or more areas. This meant that civil rights protections were extended to 20% of all Americans.

ADA Signing
Don't Forget to Review:
Moments in Disability History

Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., Original "Father" of the Americans with Disabilities Act
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