Oh, the Places We'll Vote...

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Review Law of the Day

Thursdays are for laws, and today we are going to address the ADA - the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA was passed in 1991, and to quote our fabulous AP Gov't review guide, it is an "act that required employers, schools, and public buildings to reasonably accommodate the physical needs of handicapped individuals by providing such things as ramps and elevators with appropriate facilities."

The ADA has been critical for providing access to facilities for those with disabilities. Floors and areas of buildings that were once unreachable now must be accessible, and the 1990s saw a slew of ramps being constructed and elevators and various lifts being installed. In fact, it is hard to find anywhere at SHS or other public buildings that is inaccessible.

The ADA has raised many questions though. How do you define a disability? What does "accessible" mean? What if you have to travel around to the back of a large building to enter it, and then journey up a long ramp - is that still accessible? What about private buildings, like many colleges? (Many of those have gone ahead and increased their accessibility, as they still receive public funds through the federal student loan programs.) What about a golfer like Casey Martin, who has a disability and wanted to use a golf cart to complete the course, when everyone else is walking it? Does the ADA apply here?

Keep in mind as well that the ADA is an unfunded mandate. States must comply with the ADA, but they must do so at their own expense.


**Join us for review sessions on Wednesday April 9th at 7 AM and 2:45 PM in 7058 - we'll be discussing political parties, elections, and campaigns.**


At 2:33 PM, Blogger Drebnord said...

So....I realize this has nothing to do with the AP review blogs, but did anybody see this? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24018762/


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