My grandfather’s cane: social consciousness and 25 years of ADA


In 1990, Congress passed and president George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Twenty-five years later, as many across the United States celebrate a quarter century of progress, we should pause to appreciate milestones and confront new obstacles.

In sweeping rhetoric, the ADA’s preamble declares, “historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem,” noting that the scale of discrimination permeates such diverse daily activities as housing, education, communication, labor, health services and transportation, among others.

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