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On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law; this landmark civil rights law affirmed the inherent dignity of every person, regardless of disability. This sweeping legislation prohibits discrimination by local and state governments, provides standards for privately owned businesses and commercial facilities, protects against discrimination in the workplace, and ensures equal access to healthcare, social services, transportation, and telecommunications. Since its enactment, our country has taken great strides toward the ADA’s promise of true inclusion, and Americans with and without disabilities increasingly live, learn, work, play and contribute side by side.

The Administration for Community Living and the Office for Civil Rights work closely together to defend the rights of people with disabilities and ensure equal access to all facets of life, throughout life. We came together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA by telling the story of how the ADA came to be, showcasing some of the progress we have made as a country toward achieving its promise, and illustrating a little bit of the work being done by ACL and OCR, as well as other partners within HHS and across government. Most important, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the impact of the ADA by letting people with disabilities tell you a little bit about their lives. Learn more about their stories here,

At noon ET on Thursday, July 30, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will host a virtual celebration of the 30th anniversary of the ADA. ACL Administrator Lance Robertson and OCR Director Roger Severino will be joined by Lynn Johnson, Administrator of the Administration for Children and Families; Rear Admiral Micheal Weahkee, Director of the Indian Health Service; and Calder Lynch, Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. They will discuss the progress HHS has made as a department – and that America has made as a nation – in the years since the ADA established a clear expectation of accessibility and full participation. They will also discuss the work that still remains to remove barriers to inclusion and equal access to all facets of American life.

The event will be livestreamed, and in effort to improve the viewing experience for the deaf and hard of hearing audience, there will be a second livestream that includes American Sign Language translation in a format that is more similar to in-person events.

Learn more about the ACL here. To learn more about the Tyngsborough Commission on Disability, please click here.