Since the Americans With Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress 20 years ago, it has changed much more than building codes.
When the ADA passed, it took some time for the law’s new requirements to have a visible effect. But Anthony Tusler (left), founder of About Disability, a Penngrove-based advocacy office, observes that there were some notable changes in the public media landscape almost immediately.
Most adult Americans with disabilities were cheered and empowered by the passage of the ADA in 1990, but Tusler acknowledges there were a few who felt threatened by the changes the bill would bring, and opposed it.
Despite their gains in other areas, most disabled Americans continue to struggle to find meaningful employment. Tusler suspects some employers manipulate the hiring process to avoid dealing with the ADA.
This is one of a series of photos taken in April, 1977 by Anthony Tusler at the demonstration and picketing at the U.N. Plaza in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. The group then entered the offices of HEW and refused to leave. It was the longest occupation of a Federal Building by any group. Demonstrations were also held at other Federal Buildings across the country. Because of the political pressure of these actions Secretary Califano signed the regulations in May. A more complete history can be read at 504 Sit-in: Historical Articles and Eyewitness Accounts.