When the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, the public was generally thrilled. It was one of those rare instances where both sides could agree that something needed to be done. The Act helped with access to public areas and many other challenges that disabled individuals face on a daily basis.
But was it enough? Even at the time, many argued that it needed to do more. This was in 1990, which is now 30 years ago. People are still making the same argument today.
One potential issue is that not all of the language in the act is specific. It may say that a business has to make reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability. But what if the business owner thinks the accommodations are reasonable and the disabled person does not? Who gets to make that call?
There are steps people can take when they find such an issue — or when a business isn’t compliant at all — but it can be costly and time-consuming. In short, having the rule in place is a great start but, as long as there are those who won’t follow the rule, it does not solve all of the issues.
What the ADA does show, however, is that the needs of disabled individuals are a part of the general American consciousness. Even if things aren’t perfect, this is a goal that lawmakers and voters have been working toward. They understand the challenges and, in a general sense, most people want to make changes to help address these challenges. That’s all positive news.
Still, those with disabilities do face a potentially complicated future. An illness or injury may make it impossible to work, for example. While the accessibility issues addressed in the ADA are helpful for your daily life, you still have to think about your financial position, how to get make ends meet and what economic challenges may come your way. As a result, it is wise to look into the legal options you have, such as seeking benefits when you cannot work and getting the financial assistance that can make life easier for you and your family.