This summer marks 30 years since a major milestone in our history—the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The American Foundation for the Blind is celebrating the anniversary with a series of articles and conversations.

A Conversation with Haben Girma kicked off the celebration. AFB president and CEO, Dr. Kirk Adams, chatted with Haben Girma about her memoir Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, the different experiences they had attending college before and after the passage of the ADA, the intersection of racism and ableism, and the importance of accessible online spaces during the pandemic.

The 2020 elections are upon us and, unsurprisingly, the act of voting is dominating the headlines. With that in mind, here's a brief roundup of stories that caught our attention, with an emphasis on the voting experience for people with disabilities.

Stephanie Enyart, AFB’s Chief Public Policy and Research Officer:

Stephanie Enyart, AFB Chief Public Policy and Research Officer

Tim Elder, attorney, wearing a suit and tie, smiling. He stands in front of a shelf full of legal books.

Tim Elder is a California-based civil rights attorney, founder of the TRE Legal Practice, and father of three. Active in the blindness community, he has taken on various roles with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and is an avid musician and reader. AFB spoke with Tim recently about the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on his life. This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.

Michael Murray, wearing a suit and gesturing with both hands. Behind him the White House, Department of Labor, and US Office of Personnel Management logos are partially visible. Editorial Note from Stephanie Enyart, Chief Public Policy and Research Officer: Michael Murray has dedicated his career to promoting greater inclusion for people with disabilities—in the Obama administration, as a deputy director at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Below is a collection of reflections from AFB staff members about the impact the ADA has had on their own lives and what the future of the ADA holds for people with disabilities.

Photo of Kirk Adams

I was 29 years old when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. I was working in finance – only later in my career would I enter the non-profit sector – so at that time, I was largely unaware of its passing.