Q: Why is the American Disabilities Act important today?
A: On July 26, 1990, the American Disabilities Act was signed into law and continues to make positive impacts in equity and inclusion for disabled persons today.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities against discrimination and eliminates barriers from full participation in society. The ADA guarantees mandated accommodations within every community across America. The grassroots movement that started in the 1960s began with individuals and families who believed people with a disability deserved the same rights as everyone else. This advocacy has evolved over the decades to ensure full access and protection of the law in obtaining education, health services, and social supports.
If you are wondering about the significance of the ADA in terms of education and young learners, let’s take a closer look at how the ADA has evolved. Besides there being over 61 million adults in America with a disability, there are more than 7 million students ages 3-21 also disabled. The ADA led the way for additional legislation to support learning with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
IDEA guarantees students with disabilities the right to free public education and appropriate special education services. Students with disabilities can receive a myriad of services from speech therapy to extra learning support just to name a few. Throughout Michigan there are advocates and services to help children get the supports they need. If your child is between the ages of birth to three and you have questions or concerns about their development, contact Early On at 1-800- Early On.