Thirty years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. The ADA broke down barriers to access and opportunity, enabling millions of Americans with disabilities to utilize their talents and skills and contribute to strengthening this country. Now Americans with disabilities have the right to access the same schools, hospitals, jobs, transportation, stores, and recreational facilities as their non-disabled families and friends. Advocates across the globe, inspired by the ADA, worked to enact disability rights laws in their countries. The United States remains an inspiration to those who push for full inclusion worldwide.
As we strive to create a more perfect union, we embrace diversity and inclusion and reap the benefits of our diverse citizenry. As a democracy committed to the rule of law, we continue to use the ADA to dismantle unjust barriers faced by persons with disabilities.
We know from our thirty years of experience with the ADA that responses to issues of access and inclusion must be driven by the innovation and leadership of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. Building on the progress achieved over the last thirty years, we recommit to promote the rights of persons with disabilities as we address current challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires disability-inclusive responses locally, nationally, and globally. From the current crisis emerges an opportunity to work together to create an accessible and inclusive future for all.