Americans with Disabilities Act

Wednesday, July 26 — On this date 27 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. First introduced in Congress in 1988, the goal of the
legislation was to guarantee equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public and commercial facilities, employment, transportation and services at all levels of government.

Nearly 57 million Americans — or about 19 percent of the population — have at least one disability. Some 12 million over the age of 15 need assistance with one or more activities of daily living. More than 8 million Americans over 15 have vision difficulties, and another 7.6 million have impaired hearing. There are 3.6 million Americans using wheelchairs, while another near 31 million have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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