A collage of photos showing various individuals with disabilities enjoying various activities.

American Disabilities Act
30th Anniversary

American Disabilities Act 30th Anniversary

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Its overall purpose is to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities.

In honor of the anniversary, our research faculty and staff proudly share stories of the ways ADA has helped the people they work with. We have also curated several resources to encourage awareness and action within your communities.

CIDI is committed to a more inclusive and accessible world. We have helped millions of individuals living with disabilities continue to experience independence and quality of life.



Two women using an assistive technology keyboard.


"Thanks to the ADA, my mom can independently do her grocery shopping. She can independently go to stores and the park. She lost her leg within the last few years, and seeing how my mom can be independent, all thanks to the ADA. And my sister can work at her dream job because of the assistive technology that she can use while on the job." - Martha Rust, Tools For Life AT Access Team Manager

A young boy accessing a shop with his wheelchair.

Quality of Life

"I think the ADA’s greatest impact has been improvements in access to public accommodations. For people with disabilities, this means access to restaurants, stores, theaters, hotels, commercial buildings and other public places. This in turn improves inclusion, participation and community involvement and integration. Related impacts of the aforementioned would be improvement in self-esteem as well as visibility in the community which can improve how people without disabilities perceive people with disabilities." - Gina Gelinas, Tools For Life Educational Outreach Manger

Webinars and Training

Want to contribute to an inclusive society and help make global accessibility a reality for all? If you're interested in learning more, check here for our most up-to-date list of webinars and trainings you can attend.

July 24, 2020 @ 3PM

Celebrating ADA's 30th

State Coordinator's Office of Georgia & CIDI team up to highlight organizations across Georgia.
July 24, 2020 @ 1PM

Ensuring the ADA Works

National AT Act shines a spotlight on intersectionality and what is next for the disability community.

CIDI Continues the Work of the ADA

We use the ADA as a road map, to bridge the country's gaps in accessibility through research and service. Browse through the ADA Titles below to learn more about this work.

Title I employers to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all aspects of employment.

  • Helps people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities.
  • Applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
  • Requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A “reasonable accommodation” is a change that accommodates employees with disabilities so they can do the job without causing the employer “undue hardship” (too much difficulty or expense).
  • Defines disability, establishes guidelines for the reasonable accommodation process, and addresses medical examinations and inquiries.


Under title II, public services (which includes state and local government agencies, the National Railroad Passenger Association, and other commuter authorities) cannot deny services to people with disabilities or deny participation in programs or activities that are available to people without disabilities.

  • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by “public entities” such as state and local government agencies. .
  • Requires public entities to make their programs, services and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities.
  • Outlines requirements for self-evaluation and planning; making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination; identifying architectural barriers; and communicating effectively with people with hearing, vision and speech disabilities.
  • Public Transportation offered by a state or local government is covered by Title II of the ADA. Publicly funded transportation includes, but is not limited to, bus and passenger train (rail) service. Rail service includes subways (rapid rail), light rail, commuter rail, and Amtrak.

Title III requires that all new construction or modifications must be extensible to individuals with disabilities. Public accommodations include facilities such as restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, retail stores, etc., as well as privately owned transportation systems.

  • Prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Public accommodations include privately owned, leased or operated facilities like hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters, and so on.
  • Sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of commercial facilities and privately owned public accommodations. It also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense.
  • Directs businesses to make "reasonable modifications" to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities.
  • Requires that businesses take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.
  • If transportation is offered by a private company, it is covered by Title III. Privately funded transportation includes, but is not limited to, taxicabs, airport shuttles, intercity bus companies, such as Greyhound, and hotel-provided transportation.

Title IV requires telecommunications companies offering telephone service to the general public must have telephone relay service for individuals who used telecommunication devices for the deaf (TTYs) or similar devices.

  • Requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allows individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone.
  • Requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.


This title includes a provision prohibiting either (a) coercing or threatening or (b) retaliating against individuals with disabilities or those attempting to aid people with disabilities in asserting their rights under the ADA.


  • Contains a variety of provisions relating to the ADA as a whole, including its relationship to other laws, state immunity, its impact on insurance providers and benefits, prohibition against retaliation and coercion, illegal use of drugs, and attorney’s fees.
  • Provides a list of certain conditions that are not considered disabilities.


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