Disability rights and protections reached a new milestone when Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) on Wednesday, September 17. The bill is now awaiting the signature of President Bush.
Signed into law in 1990, the intent of the original ADA bill – to provide inclusion and equality in the workplace – has slowly disintegrated as protections have been repeatedly ignored due to narrow interpretations by the court. The strongly supported, bi-partisan ADAAA restores the original law with a more fair and broad definition of "disability," and ensures that individuals in need of protection under the law will not be shut out.
The ADAAA is of great benefit to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community, which experienced setbacks and barriers to protection under the original law due to misguided court decisions. People with MS and other chronic ailments had, in some cases, been denied ADA protection when courts overlooked the severity of their conditions because they were treatable by medicine or other measures.
Today, the ADAAA will help ensure that there will no longer be discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Thanks to your help and activism, we can celebrate a big victory in the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.