(STL.News) – On July 26, 2020, our nation reflects on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA), a landmark civil rights law that aims to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin is committed to vigorous enforcement of the ADA.
The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. It is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in state and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, the ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities.
“My office is committed to ADA compliance, through cooperative efforts and enforcement actions, to ensure equal access for persons with disabilities,” said Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. “The ADA is about securing for people with disabilities the most fundamental of rights – the right to live fully and equally in our country, to go places and do things that other Americans take for granted.”
The Department of Justice has undertaken multiple initiatives to enforce the ADA, including its Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative and its ADA Voting Initiative. The Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative addresses access to medical services and facilities, including effective communication for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, physical access to medical care for people with mobility disabilities, and equal access to treatment for people who have HIV/AIDS. The ADA Voting Initiative works to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process, from voter registration to casting a ballot.
In the Western District of Wisconsin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office frequently investigates alleged violations of the ADA, including complaints related to access to public buildings and complaints of discrimination against individuals with service animals.