Skip to content

ADA 30-year anniversary

July 24, 2020


Supporters of the ADA, L to R back row: Kevin Nolan, Gerard J. Buckley, Alfred Sonnenstrahl, E-’87 (PhD), Larry D. Evans, ’64. Front row: Sy Dubow, Karen Peltz Strauss, H-’11, Senator John McCain (AZ), Paul Taylor, Jack R. Gannon, ’59 & H-’88, Dr. I. King Jordan, ’70 & H-’14, and Tim Rarus, ’89.

This Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. This landmark legislation was designed to ensure a more inclusive America, where every person has the right to participate in all aspects of society, including employment.

There is a 230-year history of federal disability policies in the United States. This includes military disability pensions, workers’ compensation insurance, vocational rehabilitation, social security (SSDI and SSI), Section 504, IDEA, the ADA, and others. Prior to the 1970s, all federal policies approached disability as a medical or individual issue. However, with a more visible disability rights movement in the late twentieth century, the nation came to see disability as a social and cultural issue rather than as a problem located in the body.

Many at Gallaudet University advocated for this law, and several of our alumni were present at the signing, including then-executive director of Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. Alfred Sonnenstrahl, E-’87 (PhD); Jack R. Gannon, ’59 & H-’88; Gallaudet University President Dr. I. King Jordan, ’70 & H-’14; Sen. Tom Harkin, H-’91, Justin Dart, H-’93, and Student Body Government President Tim Rarus, ’89. The Deaf President Now movement is credited with helping to push this law forward.

24 July 2020


Recent Posts

Stefan A. Goldschmidt, ’94, of Hamburg, Germany, has been awarded the Hamburg Teaching Prize by the Authority for Science, Research, and Equal Opportunities. The Authority receives nominations from students at each of the Hamburg state universities, and gives a total of 14 awards, one for each university. Goldschmidt’s prize included a €5.000 cash endowment (approximately...

Anne E. Wiegand, E-’99, a professor in the Theatre and Dance Program, was recently spotlighted in an article entitled “A Singular Light”, written by Andrew Thurston, which covered Wiegand’s journey in the theatre industry to where she is today.  Wiegand has been teaching at Gallaudet University since 2014—and full-time since 2019. As a working professional...

Robert J. “Bob” Dole, a politician, statesman, and friend of Gallaudet, passed away on December 5 at age 98. Dole, a Republican from Kansas, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years and the U.S. Senate for 27 years. He led the Senate Republicans for eight years. He was also a candidate for...

About the Author

Gallaudet University

Published Articles: 849

Recent Posts
Technology Access Program’s app GoVoBo debuts at 2022 CES
Sesame Street and National Theatre of the Deaf feature alumni in four ASL music videos
Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar co-authors article in Journal of Medical Internet Research
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate