Hoyer, Langevin Introduce Resolution Marking 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Jul 24, 2020 Issues: Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-02) introduced a resolution today celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA, which had passed the House and Senate with overwhelmingly bipartisan votes, was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.  This landmark law required reasonable accommodation for those with disabilities and banned discrimination against them in housing, employment, education, and other areas.  Hoyer was the lead sponsor of the ADA in the House when it was enacted in 1990, and Congressman Langevin is the co-founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.
 
The resolution recognizes the importance of independent living for individuals with disabilities and encourages Americans to celebrate the advancement of inclusion and equitable opportunities made possible by the ADA. It also acknowledges barriers must be addressed to ensure independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and full participation for individuals with disabilities, and calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information, resources, and technical assistance regarding home- and community-based services and supports that enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.
 
“Before the ADA was enacted, those who were born with or developed a disability faced discrimination and exclusion,” Leader Hoyer said.  “Over the past thirty years, thanks to the ADA, we’ve built a more inclusive and more equal America where people with disabilities can access the opportunities that enable one to make it in America.  The ADA was as much about recognizing the dignity of every person as it was about ensuring access. While we’ve made much progress over the past thirty years, there is still work to be done to address the remaining barriers people with disabilities face on a regular basis. I was proud to play a leading role in enacting that crucial civil rights law, and I will continue to defend it in the House as we work to ensure individuals with disabilities have access to the resources they need to live independently, and with equal access to employment and health care.”
 
“30 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act ushered in a new era of equality and justice for people with disabilities,” said Congressman Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.  “As someone who’s lived with a disability since the age of sixteen, I’ve witnessed the transformation we’ve made into a more accessible and inclusive society. Without the ADA and the leadership of people like Majority Leader Hoyer who paved the way for its enactment, I probably would not have the privilege of representing Rhode Island’s Second District in Congress today.  As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, let us also acknowledge there is still work to be done to change cultural perceptions of disabilities and continue fighting for a world where accessibility is the default, not an afterthought.”
 
To read the full text of the resolution, click here and see below.
 
RESOLUTION

Recognizing the importance of independent living for individuals with disabilities made possible by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and calling for further action to strengthen home and community living for individuals with disabilities.

Whereas, in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), Congress recognized that “historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem”;

Whereas the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 recognized the rights of individuals with disabilities to fully participate in their communities through independent living, equitable opportunities, and economic self-sufficiency;

Whereas Congress intended that the integration mandate under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 would ensure that individuals who are eligible for institutional placement are able to exercise their rights to community-based long-term services and supports and be free of discrimination in the form of institutionalization;

Whereas, 30 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 21 years after the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), many individuals with disabilities continue to live in segregated institutional settings because of a lack of support services, which violates their right to community living;

Whereas the continued prevalence of segregated institutional settings has hindered the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in communities, schools, and workplaces, undermining the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;

Whereas people of color with disabilities experience disproportionately greater barriers to service and access;

Whereas, 30 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, telecommunication, electronic, and information technologies continue to be developed without the goal of full accessibility and inclusion for all people of the United States; and

Whereas, 30 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, many businesses, public and private organizations, transportation systems and services are still not accessible to individuals with disabilities: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the [House]—
(1) recognizes the importance of independent living for individuals with disabilities made possible by the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);
(2) encourages all people of the United States to celebrate the advancement of inclusion and equitable opportunities made possible by the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
(3) pledges to continue to work on a bipartisan basis to identify and address the remaining barriers that undermine the national goals of equality of opportunity, independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and full participation for individuals with disabilities, including by focusing on individuals with disabilities that remain segregated in institutions;
(4) pledges to work with States to increase access to home and community based services for individuals with disabilities; and
(5) calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information, resources, and technical assistance regarding home- and community-based services and supports that enable individuals with disabilities to live independently.