American Disabilities Act


AmericanDisabilities Act

TheAmericanDisabilities Act(ADA) seeks to eliminate barriers that access to opportunities amongcitizens because of their abilities. The act was developed torecognize the needs and contribution of people with disabilities inthe society. Over time, people with disabilities have experiencedbarriers in areas such as education, transportation, public services,and employment. The barriers have adverse social and economicimplications to the American society. The obstacles affect peoplewith disabilities (PWDs) severely since their contribution to thesociety is curtailed. ADA sought to eliminate the barriers while atthe same time creating protection and opportunities for PWDs. In thecurrent law, PWDs can utilize their skills and talents to make apositive contribution to the society. Further, individuals can accessopportunities such as employment and education in institutions likeother students.

Increating a better platform for the PWDs, the act considered theimportance of instituting changes that would see the modification ofpremises and other installations. The changes meant that PWDs wereprovided with resources that enable them to realize their goalsefficiently. Still, the act considered the significance of respectingthe rights of less-privileged individuals. Bottom line, the ADAoffers civil rights protection to PWDs besides guaranteeingopportunities. Unluckily, there is a conflict between local or statelaws and federal requirements. The disagreement arises following thecreation by-laws by local authorities that negate the spirit of theAmericanDisabilities Act. The case study highlighted below is an indication of conflictinglegislations that negate the societal values. Being a democraticsociety, the US has great regard for respect of human rights andprivileges, irrespective of physical characteristics, health status,and disabilities. Harmonization of federal and state laws isinstrumental towards maintaining American values.


Thepaper considers a case where Tom Jefferson is sight impaired butmanages to move around the campus. He gets help from a canine thathas undergone training on assisting people with sight problems. Inone instance, Jefferson took a path through the canteen to attend ahistory class. The City of Omaha has developed by-laws that prohibitthe presence of live animals in restaurants and other public places.Already, the head of the food service, Evelyn, has received a warningfrom the health officials regarding the cleanliness of the premises.She understands that an additional signal will result in the closureof the restaurant. It is also likely that she will be fined forallowing live animals into the student center.

Evelynattempts to block Tom from entering the premises in the company ofthe canine. She sought to offer help to enhance safe mobility to theclassroom without violation of by-laws. Unfortunately, Tom wasunwilling to accept the offer, insisting that he had to pass throughthe center. He even said that he would take a sandwich from therestaurant. In his arguments, Tom stated that the dog takesinstructions from him alone. Despite the numerous attempts made byEvelyn to assist him, Tom continued to resist hence, making thesituation worse. Later on, Evelyn called for security officers toarrest Tom for violation of the city’s regulations.

Thecase above shows the existence of a conflict between the federal andlocal authority regarding the protection of citizens withdisabilities.


Peoplewith disabilities are entitled to enjoy similar privileges and rightsas other ordinary beings. With their challenges, such individualsrequire specialized treatment by the society as a way of enhancingequity. It is a requirement for people and institutions to showrespect to physically challenged individuals through assistance.Besides the provisions entrenched in various legislations, it isdelightful to assist the people with disabilities for them to endurea normal life. However, PWDs fail to enjoy certain privileges due todifferences in states and local authorities.

Tom’scase is likely to attract significant attention from activists. Thecase takes two dimensions where the local laws violate AmericanDisability Act and another on Tom’s cooperation with the restaurantoperator. The judicial system needs to examine the by-laws to explorethey contravene the act. In this regard, the court is likely tosuspend sections that do not conform to federal laws. The conflictbetween state and federal laws exist in other controversial matterssuch as legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriages, and abortion.Often, the courts have played a crucial role in making appropriatejudgments that create harmony between the two agencies.

Inanother case that took place in 2016, a Michigan girl with cerebralpalsy was denied disallowed to carry her service dog to school (TheAssociated Press, 2016). Ehlena Fry`s family moved to courts to suethe school for violating the federal disability laws. Apparently, theservice dog assists the girl with responsibilities such as openingdoors and retrieving items. According to American Civil LibertiesUnion, representing the family, many district schools school in theUS continue to deny children with disabilities the right to useservice dogs in schools. Most schools base their decision on thestate or local by-laws that sometimes result in fines. The move bythe school is likely to deny the student’s access to qualityeducation as enshrined in the ADA legislations.

Thereexist physical and programmatic barriers that hinder theparticipation of physically challenged people in leisure activities.The physical obstacles in the buildings include discriminativefeatures and spaces that do not consider the interests of the PWDs.Individuals who use wheelchairs find it difficult to access buildingsthat have no ramps. High counters in the recreational facilitieshinder access to services. Poor lighting in the institution is achallenge to individuals with low vision. Hard doorknobs arechallenging to people with arthritis. Telephone gadgets withspecialized devices make it difficult for the deaf to engage ineffective communication. The societal thinking influences attitudinalbarriers that the PWDs are inferior. The openings at in somefacilities, for instance, are not long enough to enable the movementof the PWDs (Rhoads, 2013). The issues highlighted above constitute awake-up call for local authorities to create by-laws that ensuresocial institutions and businesses adhere to the spirit of theAmericanDisability Act.

Institutionsneed to improve accessibility by considering the interests of thepeople with disabilities. In observance of the ADA legislations,Beautiful View University should designate certain areas and routesfor use by the PWDs (Rhoads,2013). It is also important for the facility to installtechnology-aided devices that will enhance the access to vitalservices such as a telephone. Assistants within an installation mayhelp in addressing the challenges faced by people with disabilities.State and non-actors should create awareness that accepts andresolves the challenges faced by these individuals by identifyingtheir identity and specific needs. Effective change in the facilitiesand by-laws can generate positive outcomes in the attainment ofsocial goals among the PWDs (Grady &amp Moorman, 2016).

Federallaws should be applied equally, and bide all people within theAmerican territories. Such legislations have one and clearinterpretation by the courts, including the Supreme Court if a civilcase regarding non-compliance reaches such levels. It is thusimperative to have uniform laws developed by the federal governmentwith the input of the state government and other stakeholders. Stateand local governments need to develop by-laws that are restrictive orminimize the gains made in the society.


Provisionsin the ADA guidelines aim at safeguarding the interests of all theindividuals irrespective of their genetic formation and physicalability. Modification of facilities will permit new and innovativeways to address challenges faced by the PWDs through deliberatestrategic changes. Unfortunately, the conflicts between local andfederal laws have adverse negative effects on advancing the goals ofthe society. The case of Thomas Jefferson v. the City of Omaha is anexample of many other instances where conflicts between state andfederal laws jeopardize efforts to achieve the American dreams. Thefederal government needs to make laws on how the country will begoverned without coercion from the state government. The idea is toeliminate incidences of conflicts and constitution backlash. The lawsshould be generated with significant consideration of the interestsof the citizens and the state governments. Awareness will help inestablishing support groups that offer moral support to people withspecial needs.


Grady,J., &amp Moorman, A. (2016). The Americans with Disabilities Act25th Anniversary: Assessing Progress, Opportunities, and Challenges.JLAS,26(1).

Rhoads,M. A. (2013). Applyingthe ADA: Designing for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standardsfor Accessible Design in Multiple Building Types.Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

TheAssociated Press. (2016). Highcourt will hear dispute over service dog at school.Retrieved September 14, 2016, from