Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to protect and provide civil rights for and to prevent discrimination and marginalization of individuals with disabilities; it also provides for equal opportunities and access to employment, public accommodations, local and state government services, transportation, and commercial facilities.

The original U.S. federal legislation Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (PL 101-336; 42 U.S.C. 12101) was enacted in 1990, although the act was not placed into the Federal Register until July 26, 1991. The original act was in effect until 2011, with revision in 2009 and additions made regarding access to housing and other accommodations through the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. As of 2015, the text included updates, revisions, and changes made in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2011.

ADA was enacted to address legally the widespread and serious discrimination against individuals with real or perceived disabilities in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, public service, and other areas. In addition to establishing enforceable standards and ensuring that the federal government enforces those standards, the intent of this legislation was to provide a clear national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and to allow these individuals into the economic and social mainstream of American life.

See also Disability ; Power ; Prejudice and discrimination .



Keller, Clayton, et al. Images of Mainstreaming Educating Students with Disabilities. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Ralston, D. Christopher, and Justin Ho. Philosophical Reflections on Disability. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag, 2010.


Douglas Kruse, Lisa Schur, and Mohammed Ali. “Disability and Occupational Projections.” Monthly Labor Review (October 2010): 31–78.

WEBSITES “Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.” (accessed July 20, 2015).


American Association of People with Disabilities, 2013 H St. NW, 5th Fl., Washington, DC, 20006, (202) 457-0046,(800) 840-8844, Fax: (866) 536-4461,

(MLA 8th Edition)