News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Marks Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th Anniversary; Will Hold Commemorative Event in October

WASHINGTON, DCThe U.S. Department of Labor today commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark civil rights legislation that protects access and opportunity for people with disabilities across community life, including employment.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act ushered in a new era of equality and inclusion for Americans with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “This landmark law informs and motivates the Department’s efforts as we work to provide all Americans with opportunities for fulfilling employment.”

The Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) helps advance the ADA by developing and influencing policies and practices that increase both the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The agency provides technical assistance to individuals and employers on the ADA’s employment provisions. The ODEP-supported Job Accommodation Network is a leading source for guidance on workplace accommodations, a right the ADA guarantees to qualified individuals.

“Today’s commemoration of the Americans with Disabilities Act affirms our nation’s founding ideals. The ADA is and has been vital to achieving a fully inclusive American workforce and economy,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. “The ADA provides the foundation for ODEP’s work to ensure that people with disabilities can pursue meaningful careers and set and achieve their individual employment goals.”

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) helps advance the ADA through its enforcement of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and through the comprehensive compliance assistance it provides to federal contractors to ensure full disability inclusion in the workplace. OFCCP is also conducting Section 503 focused reviews across the country to ensure equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

“Equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities is required by law and benefits our entire economy,” stated Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Craig Leen.  “On the 30th anniversary of the ADA, OFCCP is proud to be working to ensure the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities by federal contractors in all aspects of employment, including equal opportunity and non-discrimination in hiring, compensation, and promotions.”

The Department is planning an event marking the 30th anniversary in October. The event will also commemorate another milestone in disability employment history – the 75th annual observance of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The Department’s yearlong commemoration of the ADA’s 30th anniversary has included a variety of activities, all centered on the 2020 theme “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020 will carry this theme as well, as does the official 75th anniversary poster which highlights both milestones.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Date
July 26, 2020
Release Number
20-1311-NAT
Contact: Bennett Gamble
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