Implementing the Disabilities Act

Should the scope of the ADA be narrowed?


Five years after it took effect, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has done much to make life easier for persons with physical and mental impairments. But businesses favor amending ADA, claiming that the law imposes unfair financial burdens on them. They favor limiting the number of protected disabilities and possibly also placing a cap on the money businesses must spend to accommodate the disabled. Advocates for the disabled defend the law's case-by-case approach, arguing that no single formula could meet the myriad needs of disabled persons. The architecture profession, meanwhile, is beginning to embrace the principles of “universal design.” The concept enables structures to be both attractive and readily accessible to disabled and able-bodied people alike.

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