• George Shardlow

Always climbing: Celebrating thirty years of the ADA

July 26, 2020 will mark the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark civil rights legislation for people with disabilities in the United States. The law asserts that people with disabilities have a fundamental right to work, live and play in a manner of their choosing, regardless of disability status. To that end, it requires government, employers and businesses to make any reasonable accommodations necessary to enable people with disabilities to fully participate in civic, professional and recreational life.

Passage of the ADA was not guaranteed, however. It required the activism of people with disabilities and their allies demanding change to secure its approval by Congress.

Therefore, on March 12, Americans with disabilities will honor the 30th anniversary of a different event, the Capitol Crawl. On that day, thousands of disability activists, growing impatient with the United States House of Representatives’ inability to pass the law, got out of their wheelchairs and crawled up the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.