WEST HOLLYWOOD—Sunday, July 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
The city of West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board commemorated the occasion with two short PSAs, reminding area residents of the positive effect the ADA continues to have within the community.
Rick Watts, Chair of the West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board, points out that the act ensures equality for non-disabled and disabled people alike.
According to Louise Smith, West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Vice Chair, 1 in 5 Americans are living with a disability. In West Hollywood, 14% of the community are living with disabilities. She says that the act has given many disabled people the ability to work and function within the community.
The ADA, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Enforcement didn’t begin until July 1992. The act has been used in a number of notable court cases to protect the rights of people with disabilities.
Hotel marketers Expedia.com and Hotels.com were sued by people with disabilities who were unable to purchase rooms using the websites’ services without significant hurdles. In 2009, the case reached a landmark settlement, when both companies added features to their websites that improved reservation services for those with disabilities.
There have been some criticisms of the act, including the assertion that it encourages freeloaders. Satire news site The Onion played on that belief in their piece entitled “Congress Passes Americans With No Abilities Act.”
The city of West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board was created in 1995 to enforce ADA regulations within the commuinity. The Board also provides aid to people with disabilities, including transportation, housing, and access to government services.
They meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Community Center in rooms 5 and 6, located at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.