In 1990, after several rounds of negotiations and hearings, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and, in doing so, marked a significant advancement for the civil rights of people with disabilities. In his Signing Statement, President George H.W. Bush said:
[N]ow I sign legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has far too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse, but not grasp. . . . I now lift my pen to sign this Americans with Disabilities Act and say 'Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.'
The ADA helped bring down this wall by providing comprehensive protections against disability discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodation and services operated by private entities, transportation and telecommunications.
President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336 on July 26, 1990.
Core Materials from the 101st Congress
S. 933, vote on Conference Report, H. Rep. 101-596, July 13, 1990
S. 933, Senate Session, unanimous consent on Conference Report, July 12, 1990
Conference Report 101-558 (1990), June 26, 1990
H.R. 2273 – House vote, May 22, 1990
Vote tally: 403 – 20, H.R. Roll No. 123 to H.R. 2273, 101st Cong. (1990)
Floor debate over H.R. 2273, May 17, 1990
Champman amendment, May 17, 1990
House Report 101-485, H. Rept. 101-485, Part I (Committee on Energy and Commerce); Part II (Committee on Education and Labor), Part III (Committee on Judiciary); and Part IV (Committee on Energy and Commerce), May 15, 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, H.R.4807 (101st Congress) introduced, May 14, 1990
Meeting of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, May 2, 1990, C-SPAN video of opening session--Presidential Address
On the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hearing Before the House Small Business Committee, Feb. 22, 1990, Transcript of Hearing S. 101-45
The ADA’s Legislative History - Materials from 1989
The ADA’s Legislative History - Materials from 1988
Additional Legislative History Materials will be released in Summer 2019.