The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Becomes Law.

Equal opportunity in employment was federally mandated in 1973, but it soon became apparent that lack of specific language and implementation guidelines made progress toward nondiscrimination extremely slow. Subsequent efforts to make what were widely agreed to be basic human rights available culminated in 1990 when on July 26 President George H.W. Bush signed as Public Law 101-336 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law recognized the rights of an estimated 40 million Americans to equal opportunities in employment and ensured physical access to a wide range of public services and accommodations. Physical therapists and APTA saw this as an opening up of particularly significant areas in which to do important and meaningful work. Chiefly, the ADA calls upon the traditional skills of the physical therapist in evaluating function and pairing patients with the physical requirements of a particular activity. To meet the requirements under the ADA, that pairing must also include developing functional job descriptions for employers, matching workers to those jobs, and helping the employer to modify other jobs to fit certain limitations.

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