Research Brief: Higher Education and the ADA | ADA National Network

Research Brief: Higher Education and the ADA

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Higher Education and the ADA

An ADA Knowledge Translation Center Research Brief




Rob Gould
Sarah Parker Harris

Courtney Mullin

Department of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago




What is the ADA?

Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark civil rights law that addresses discrimination based on disability. The ADA represents bipartisan support for disability inclusion in multiple aspects of public life by allowing individuals with disabilities to challenge discrimination in the realms of employment, public services, and places of public use. Through the ADA disability is a recognized source of discrimination, similar to “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” within the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The overarching goal of the ADA is to promote equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for Americans with disabilities.

Background of Higher Education and the ADA

With the ADA in effect for almost three decades, there is a growing number of students with disabilities going to college. In fact, estimates show that 19% of undergraduate students and 12% of graduate students have disabilities.1 Access to higher education is a [...]

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