Americans with Disabilities Act’s 29th Anniversary

Developmental Disabilities Administration Update

July 26, 2019

ADA 29th Anniversary logo

July 26, 2019 is the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) 29th anniversary!

The ADA propelled disability rights into the public eye when it was passed in 1990, being the first comprehensive act of legislation to address the rights of people with disabilities. Prior to the disability rights movement, people who experienced disability were largely unseen and unaccommodated in the community; public buildings and transportation were inaccessible, people with disabilities could be discriminated against in the workforce, and there were no avenues for people to take legal action against such discrimination.

In the 1960s, when the civil rights movement began to gain steam, disability rights activists saw the opportunity to fight alongside other marginalized groups and secure equal rights for people with disabilities. Disability rights activists had to fight through centuries of harmful biases and stereotypes to convince the public that people with disabilities deserve the same rights and opportunities to take part in society as everyone else, and eventually the legislation was signed on July 26, 1990.

Nearly 30 years later, the ADA continues to support Americans with disabilities in their jobs, public activities and telecommunication, promising equal access to all individuals regardless of physical or mental ability. Equity, diversity and inclusion are at the core of our agency and we stand by our commitment to recruit, welcome, and retain a diverse workforce in order to develop greater understanding and compassion for those we serve. DSHS maintains the belief that it is to our advantage and to the benefit of the populations we serve to employ people who see, hear and navigate the world in a variety of ways and to support them in their employment here in any way we can.

If you want to celebrate ADA’s 29th anniversary, there is a variety of ways to do so!

  • Post success stories about the ADA on social media with the hashtag #ThanksToTheADA;
  • Watch this accessible webinar about the past, present, and future of the ADA;
  • Post information about the ADA in public work spaces;
  • Share resources about the ADA with others such as:


Contact us for questions or feedback.