On July 26, 1990 President George H.W. Bush signed “the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities” on the South Lawn of the White House. The Americans with Disabilities Act made the U.S. the international leader on this civil rights issue. Photo courtesy of the White House
Celebrations of the July 26, 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H.W. Bush will take place across the nation during the week of July 21-27, 2014. The ADA – passed by an unprecedented bipartisan 377-28 vote in the House of Representatives, and a 91-6 vote in the Senate – gave civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.
The ADA and ADA Amendments Act of 2008 assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, health care, education, transportation, and telecommunications.
Bruce G. Flynn, MS
As we approach the 25th anniversary of the ADA, experts still do not know for certain if the law is meeting all its original goals. What we do know is that the ADA has dramatically changed the process of employment, the delivery of health care, and the educational environment.
But as we learned from the recent release of the Campus Climate Survey results, we at the University of California still have room for improvement regarding how people with disabilities perceive the climate at UCSF as reports of exclusionary conduct toward employees, faculty, and students with disabilities persist.
The UCSF Committee on Disability Issues will be working over the next year to identify issues of concern and set objectives to address these key issues. The Committee intends to launch a multi-faceted effort to increase knowledge and improve attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities. In the meantime, the following offices continue to provide guidance and assistance in addressing the access and accommodation needs of patients, staff, faculty, and students with disabilities:
Bruce G. Flynn, MS, is the director of the UCSF Risk Management and Insurance Services.