After over two decades of demanding legal rights, disability rights leaders from across the nation attended the White House ceremony for the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA ushers in a new era of disability advocacy marked by greater involvement of people with disabilities in the planning of accessible structures, programs and services.
Disability studies programs are established at universities across the country and disability pride and recognizing a distinctive culture of disability within American society.
Despite the monumental advances made by disability rights advocates, the ADA was receiving a severe challenge by the end of the decade. The American judicial system continually limited the ADA’s scope, powers and ability to promote rights and equality.
- The Americans with disabilities Act is signed into law, extending comprehensive civil rights protection to all people with disabilities.
The law is the most sweeping disability rights legislation in history, mandating that local, state and federal buildings, programs and services be accessible, that businesses with more than 15 employees make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled workers and that public accommodations such as restaurants and stores make “reasonable modifications” to ensure access for disabled members of the public.
- LEAP began educating employers on the newly-passed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- LEAP expands into Lorain County.
- Cleveland disability rights advocates are consulted during the gateway project o ensure the new facility is ADA compliant and fully accessible.
- LEAP begins job placement services including job seeking skills training, job development, coaching, follow along services and employer education.
- Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act wre infused with the philosophy of independent living.
- LEAP ran a joint program with Paralyzed Veterans of America-Buckeye Chapter to train individuals with disabilities to use the accessible mainline lift equipped busses of the Regional transit Authority, and provide sensitivity training for transit personnel.
- LEAP develops its Job Link program to prepare high school students with disabilities for employment and community living; receives PEPNet Award in 2001. The program works to make the transition from school to work and adult community life as easy as possible.
- LEAP recognized by the State of Ohio as a provider of Independent Living services in Lorain and Erie Counties.
- Justice for All is organized by Justin Dart as National organization to promote the goals of the ADA – equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.
- LEAP provided life skills training geared toward community integration to disabled Veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
- LEAP expanded Job Placement services to provide job seeking skills training, job development, job placement matching employers with qualified job seekers with disabilities, and job coaching to ensure job retention.
- LEAP adds Social Security Consultation Services to assist consumers in securing needed benefits.
- The Telecommunications Act of 1996– covering computers, telephones, closed captioning and a host of up-and-coming devices – declares that services and equipment be made accessible.
- LEAP ran a program to assist women with disabilities who encounter significant barriers while trying to function in community and family life, to address and cope with gender-specific issues.
- LEAP provides advocacy training to individuals with disabilities and family members to become active advocates, working on behalf of improved options for persons with disabilities, and to promote systems change leading to greater inclusion in all aspects of society.
- LEAP receives Center for Independent Living (CIL) status, becoming one of only seven CIL's in Ohio.
- In Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W., the Supreme Court ruled that individuals with disabilities must be offered services in the most integrated setting.