This Act, signed into law by President H.W. Bush, takes the gains of the disability rights movement and enshrined them into law, prohibiting discrimination based on disability. Furthering the gains of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the ADA protects people with disabilities from discrimination not just from the government, but from employers and businesses that provide public accommodations.
Under the ADA, employers may not discriminate against qualified applicants or employees, and must provide “reasonable accommodations” to their employees so that they can do their jobs. Public entities like schools and government buildings as well as private businesses like hotels and restaurants must provide physical access to their facilities and programs (with some exceptions for historical properties).