The Americans with Disabilities Act: More Rights for People with Disabilities


  • Pamela G. Watson ScD RN

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Dr. Watson is Professor and Chair, Department of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University, as she was at the original time of publication

University's College of Health Professions, 130 S. 9th Street, Suite 1251, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Another milestone in the quest for equal rights for people with disabilities occurred with the passage of PL101-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act. Though some controversy surrounded the passage of this legislation, the bill had clear bipartisan endorsement, as well as the support of President George Bush. The basis of the law was introduced in the Senate May 9, 1989, as Bill S933 by Senator Thomas Harkin (D-IA). A similar bill, HR2273, was introduced the same day in the House of Representatives by Rep. Anthony Coehlo (D-CA). The process by which the House and Senate bills became the final Americans with Disabilities Act was lively. Understanding the law and its provisions is important for rehabilitation nurses who are healthcare providers infrequent contact with people with disabilities.