Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States

This guide offers a history of various movements by citizens in the United States to gain political and social freedom and equality. It highlights resources available through the library and also offers a list of current civil rights organizations.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the broadest law regarding disabled persons to date, was enacted in 1990.  President George W. Bush signed it in a ceremony on the White House lawn, which was attended by thousands of disability rights activists. The law's comprehensive coverage specifies that all levels of government must be accessible, that programs be accessible, and that public accommodations such as restaurants and stores make "reasonable modifications." The act also mandates access in public transportation, communication, and in other areas of public life.  The major difference between the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act is that the ADA applies to every type of government, organization or establishment, where the Rehabilitation Act applied only to federal government programs.

Notable Supreme Court Cases:

Library Resources:

Additional Resources:

 

ADA Supporters