Advancing Equal Access to Opportunity

Advancing Equal Access to Opportunity

Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is civil rights legislation that works to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including employment. At the U.S. Department of Labor, we are committed to delivering on the promise of the ADA, not only for today’s workers with disabilities, but also future generations.

Alternate version of Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Timeline

To ensure this information reaches the widest audience possible, we also have the following alternate versions available:

Worker Stories

The Americans with Disabilities Act works to open doors of opportunity for America’s more than 50 million people with disabilities — including in the workplace.

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

I do social media contracting, which is a fancy way of saying that people have me run their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Tumblr, and so on. It's really great to be able to do this work because I deal with chronic pain and fatigue on top of my anxiety and being autistic, so there are days when getting out of bed is very, very hard.


Rose Pleskow

Rose Pleskow

My name is Rose Pleskow. I work at Perfect Sense Digital in Reston, Virginia. I love my job and have a wonderful manager and co-workers. I have many responsibilities, including publishing content, writing a weekly blog post and doing quality assurance testing on a variety of websites.

Yvette Gilchrist

Yvette Gilchrist

Yvette is an employee at Good Reasons, a dog treat company committed to providing integrated employment opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities. She helps out with all aspects of production, but most often can be found opening and filling the treat bags and applying expiration labels.


What's New

Secure Financial Future

Workers with Disabilities Can Reach a Secure Financial Future

Twenty-five years ago this month, Congress signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Since then, the department has worked to make these rights a reality by expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Why I Wrote the ADA

National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy is a five-year plan that details principles, priorities, and actions to guide our collective national response to the HIV epidemic. First released by President Obama on July 13, 2010, the Strategy identified a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes for moving the Nation forward in addressing the domestic HIV epidemic. In July 2015, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020.

Getting to Work

A Training Curriculum for HIV/AID Service Provider and Housing Providers

Employment is an essential part of the nation’s coordinated response to HIV/AIDS. More and more, people with HIV/AIDS are living healthy lives and can and want to work — and research clearly demonstrates the benefits of doing so. This interactive multi-media curriculum assists HIV/AIDS service providers, including housing providers, to understand how employment can add value — for individuals, families and communities — and provides strategies they can implement to incorporate employment into their approach.

Senate Resolution

Senate Passes Bipartisan Resolution Commemorating Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary

On July 28, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution from U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990.


Additional Resources

The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) works to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities by encouraging adoption of effective policies and practices. Although it provides publications and technical assistance on the basic requirements of the ADA, it does not enforce any part of the law.

Two agencies within the Department of Labor have enforcement authority related to the ADA. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability, by Federal contractors, and requires affirmative action on behalf of qualified individuals with disabilities. OFCCP also investigates disability-related discrimination complaints, including complaints dual-filed under Section 503 and the ADA. The Civil Rights Center is responsible for enforcing Title II of the ADA as it applies to the labor — and workforce-related practices of state and local governments and other public entities. See the Laws & Regulations subtopic for specific information on these provisions.

In addition to the Department of Labor, four federal agencies enforce the ADA: