DAA News Network

USA: 20 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discrimination remains a major problem

Posted 27/7-10 at 09.21

July 26th marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA. A major report, the sixth in a series carried out since 1986, has found that, "While there has been modest improvement among a few indicators... there has yet to be significant progress in many areas."

Improvements were found in education and political participation. However, large differences between the experience of disabled and non-disabled people continue to be significant with respect to employment, income, access to transportation, health care and social life.

The worst gap remains in employment. Only 21% of disabled people of working age are employed, compared to 59% of non-disabled people. This gap has declined since 1998, but it still remains large and its decline has been very slow.

With respect to the ADA, only 25% of disabled people believed the Act had many any difference to their lives. People with more severe impairments have found the Act slightly more useful

Some other interesting findings include:

About half of all disabled people have a very strong sense of common identity and almost 80% have some sense of such identity. Disabled people attended religious services somewhat less often than the majority population. Of course, this may be due to lack of appropriate transport or accessible communication and places of worship, rather than a lack of faith. 70% of disabled people feel they are generally treated equally 40% report some type of negative reaction, whether it be people showing pity, treating them differently or avoiding further contact. The report is a treasure trove of evidence about the conditions faced by disabled people in the USA.

A press release, a summary and the full report can be found at: http://www.2010disabilitysurveys.org/





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