The NCSL Blog


By Saige Draeger

As the signing anniversary of the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) approaches, NCSL and its partners in the State Exchange of Employment and Disability (SEED) plan to celebrate 30 years of the ADA by highlighting its impact and lasting legacy during the week of July 20-24.

two workers, one disabledEach day will feature exploration and discussion into the ADA’s implications across policy areas governing major aspects of public life.

Each session will feature presentations and Q&A with subject matter experts, legislators and those who’ve been affected by the sweeping protections enshrined in the ADA. These virtual sessions will also touch on the impact of the current public health crisis and subsequent economic downturn on people with disabilities. Each session will take place at 1 p.m. ET and last for approximately one hour.

July 20 | The Americans With Disabilities Act Turns 30: Progress and Potential

Learn about the ADA’s history, the impact the landmark law has had on the nation and what the next 30 years hold for Americans with disabilities.

July 21 | ADA 30: The Past, Present and Future of the Workplace

Explore how states have embraced the ADA, become model employers for people with disabilities, and what the next 30 years of employment for people with disabilities look like.

July 22 | Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at 45: A Review and Look Forward

When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed in 1990, it added to the strides made to improve access, opportunities and conditions for students with disabilities by focusing more on individualized education. Hear from experts about the state of education for this population, challenges that remain and a prediction of what might be improved when the act is reauthorized.

July 23 | Developing Accessible Autonomous Vehicles

Driverless technology offers promising potential, but also many questions for people with disabilities. As a sign of its endurance, at 30 years old the ADA continues impacting how new technologies develop. Learn about state and federal efforts to ensure this emerging technology is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.

July 24 | The ADA’s Impact on Accessible Legislatures

Discover how some legislatures have made their buildings, websites, webcasts and chambers more accessible—from wheelchair access and large print to hearing loops and assistive technologies. Learn what civic leaders must consider when creating accommodations for people experiencing barriers to access.

Access to this virtual week-long meeting is available free of charge to all. Visit NCSL’s resource clearinghouse for registration information as well as resources on all things ADA.

This piece is part of NCSL’s yearlong celebration of ADA30, and ongoing partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy’s State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED). SEED partners with intermediary organizations like NCSL to ensure that state and local policymakers have the tools and resources they need to develop and disseminate meaningful policies related to disability-inclusive workforce development.

Saige Draeger is a research analyst II in NCSL’s Employment, Labor and Retirement Program.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.