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ADA Marks 20th Anniversary
April 14, 2010

Disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, may affect how people get around at home, at work, shopping, seeing a museum or even visiting the doctor.

In the last 20 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has improved access in the built environment. President George H.W. Bush signed “the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities” into law on July 26, 1990.

Twenty years later, U.S. World Standards Day will recognize ADA’s anniversary with the theme “Standards for Accessibility”. As a member of the U.S. World Standards Day Planning Committee, the International Code Council (ICC) is looking forward to using the opportunity to advocate the needs and rights of the disabled. Long before the ADA was enacted, ICC and its founding members were working to address disability needs through changes to building and fire safety codes.

In fact, the Code Council’s model codes began to address accessibility as early as 1975, 15 years before the ADA was enacted. In addition to codes, “ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities” is a nationally recognized standard of technical requirements for making buildings accessible. An update of the standard is expected this year.

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