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The ADA's 20-Year Anniversary: Commentary

ADA signing with President George H.W. Bush in 1990Two decades ago, I was present at the official signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), July 26, 1990. The ceremony took place in the White House Rose Garden and I distinctly recall how proud I was to be there representing the Community Transportation Association of America and its members on what we all knew to be a transformative moment for both our industry and the nation. Our Association was one of the few public transportation advocacy groups that had voiced unwavering support for the ADA, which is why we were present alongside the many elected officials and dignitaries on what was a beautiful summer morning. CTAA has always been committed to mobility for all Americans -- regardless of age, geography or ability -- so to fully support the ADA was a natural decision for our then two-year old organization. That morning the overriding emotion of the audience was one of hope. Hope that the ADA would make a positive impact on the lives of Americans with disabilities. Today, many of the improvements that the law called for have become such a common part of the American experience that they can be overlooked. I think that the best way we can all celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the passage of the ADA is to pay better attention to the progress that's been made -- and perhaps more importantly to the progress that is vitally necessary and remains yet undone. Those of us who have the privilege to work here in the nation's capital know that the laws and regulations that emerge from this city are merely snapshots in time and often need updating and attention with time. Affording all Americans with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in our society demands this regular oversight and is a commitment to which the Community Transportation Association of America remains fully resolved and dedicated.
Scott Bogren
CTAA Communications Director

The goal of any transportation system is to provide the mobility options that meet the travel needs of all community members. Within every community there are residents whose physical limitations may prevent full access to all transportation services. In many cases, these individuals are transit dependent.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 mandates that persons with disabilities cannot be denied full access to public facilities, employment or transportation. The law requires fixed-route services to be accessible, and complementary door-to-door service to be available for individuals whose disabilities preclude the use of fixed-route service.

The Community Transportation Association provides resources to help transit systems, public officials, advocates and community members explore community needs, vehicle equipment, paratransit service, policies, training and compliance.


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