AUCD Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

January 17, 2020

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As we begin 2020, we as a nation, including the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark civil rights legislation impacts the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities and protects against discrimination and ensures and improves access to opportunities afforded to all. 

"The ADA cemented in federal law the civil rights of Americans living with disabilities. These expectations have served as a new foundation of inclusion for more than a generation. We hope you'll join us in sharing your stories and celebrating three decades of its success during 2020." said John Tschida, Acting Executive Director of AUCD.

ADA Signing of 1990The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary, AUCD will celebrate this landmark event as a way of bringing attention to the important work that has been done to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities and to highlight the work that is yet to be done. We honor our leaders in the disability community who worked tirelessly for the passage of the ADA and look to our emerging leaders, many of whom have grown up after the ADA became law, to carry on the mission, hope, and vision of the ADA.

Since the ADA, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Significant advances have been made to ensure people with disabilities live and work in the community with appropriate supports and services. The AUCD network of interdisciplinary centers in every state and territory have been instrumental in these efforts. They have revolutionized change in their states and transformed systems because of the ADA. AUCD is a network of leaders with rich stories to share about the real impact of the ADA across the nation.

The ADA affects everyone, which is why we celebrate the anniversary of its signing every year. We ask the AUCD network to share what you are doing to honor the ADA anniversary this year. We ask three items for you in terms of the anniversary:


Are you holding events, launching new initiatives, etc.? 

Let us know! Email acostalas@aucd.org to be featured and promote your events throughout the year. Use our sample ADA press release to share locally. 


AUCD is also launching a call for stories. 
- How has the ADA impacted your center and its work?
- What does the ADA mean to you?
- What transformation have you seen because of the ADA? 
- What barriers still exist to be addressed?

Please consider the areas of public life that have been impacted such as jobs, schools, transportation, and access to public and private places.  In addition, focus on how the ADA has helped ensure people with disabilities in your state to live and work in their community with appropriate supports and services. 
We at AUCD recognize the power of personal stories. They help to create a shared understanding of who we are and how we live our lives. They help us celebrate our successes and document our challenges.

Stories empower us. 
We will amplify your stories this anniversary year. Please share your stories!


The Tuesdays with Liz ADA video contest is back!
 Submit your video and winners will be interviewed virtually by Liz Weintraub, long-time disability advocate and host of Tuesdays with Liz! The video contest is open to AUCD Emerging Leaders Community (i.e. current and former AUCD trainees).

AUCD joins with other members of the civil rights community in celebrating the progress our society has made in the 30 years since the ADA and is committed to continuing the ongoing work needed to fulfill its promise of full inclusion for all members of all communities.