The Americans With Disability Act

On July 26, 1990, The Americans With Disability Act of 1990 was signed as law by U.S. President George H. W. Bush on the South Lawn of he White House. It was the nation's first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that people with disabilities have the right to live and interact in the community.

Excerpts from President Bush's remarks on July 26, 1990

Today we're here to rejoice in and celebrate another ``independence day,'' one that is long overdue. With today's signing of the landmark Americans for Disabilities Act, every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom.

Our success with this act proves that we are keeping faith with the spirit of our courageous forefathers who wrote in the Declaration of Independence: ``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.'

Together, we must remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted. For ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper. For inspiration, we need look no further than our own neighbors. With us in that wonderful crowd out there are people representing 18 of the daily Points of Light that I've named for their extraordinary involvement with the disabled community. We applaud you and your shining example.

To listen to the entire speech, go to


Olmstead vs. Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson

The June 22, 1999 decision resulted from the "Olmstead vs. Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson" case in which two women wanted to movefrom the Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta, GA, to the community. Every individual has the right to participate in the decisions that are made regarding them. The statement, "Nothing about me, without me," means that no final decision should be made about any individual without their having the opportunity to voice their preference.