Information for the General Public/Media:

Civil rights are an important element of the American system of government and civil rights laws protect these rights. The disability community fought for many decades for civil rights. In 1990, the ADA was passed to guarantee those rights under law. ADA Insights provides in-depth research findings and analysis about how the ADA is enforced. While this information is important for people with disabilities and civil rights activists and groups, the general public may also find it useful.

Since the inception of the ADA, nearly 300,000 administrative charges have been filed under Title I. Some of the questions that ADA Insights has investigated are:

Summary of the ADA

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) -- this country's most comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment (Title I), in public services (Title II), in public and private accommodations (Title III) and in telecommunications (Title IV). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing Title I's prohibition against discrimination against people with disabilities in employment.

Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals who believe they have been discriminated against in employment on the basis of a disability may file an administrative charge. The charge initiates an administrative dispute resolution process. After pursuing their administrative remedies, aggrieved individuals may file a lawsuit.

ADA Insights and the General Public/Media

We started investigating the enforcement of the ADA five years after its enactment. So far, we have looked at how the ADA protects individuals with disabilities in issues related to employment. Some of our focus has been on people with psychiatric disabilities. We have also examined, however, the experiences of people with all other types of disabilities. Even if you are non-disabled, as a citizen, it is important to learn how this civil rights law "works" for several reasons:

You or a loved one may need protection under the ADA some day. As baby boomers age, and a larger number of Americans deal with aging and disability, the enforcement of the ADA will affect more people. People are living longer - and working longer. Our Web Site will show you what the government is doing to protect your rights if you are disabled.

Journalists may find data that are newsworthy and relevant to their target audiences. We have interviewed hundreds of people with disabilities who have filed complaints. We have analyzed hundreds of thousands of administrative charges and the story that has unfolded over the past seven years is worthy of significant media attention. Please read the Media Kit for more details.

Educators may find our information useful in teaching political science, law, or disability classes. Also African-American, gay and lesbian rights, and womenıs studies programs have found it useful to draw parallels to the disability rights struggle and the ADA.

How Can We Help You?

Other interesting items:

*2001 Psychiatric Services Article*

*1999 Psychiatric Services Article*

*ADA Guide*

*Myths and Facts about the ADA*

*Press*

*Checklist*

*Links to Useful Web sites*

Sources: Smithsonian Institute Exhibit on Disability Rights Movement, EEOC web page on the ADA


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ADA Insights: Keeping the Spirit of the ADA Alive

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