Learn from 26 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

A women using a manual wheelchair holds onto the back of another woman's power wheelchair as they go along a sidewalk. Both women smile.
Two disabled women activist visit the U.S. for MIUSA's WILD program
Our new RightsNow! website focuses on sharing lessons learned from disability rights movements around the world. On this year's anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), share your own unique ADA story or political advocacy strategy with activists in other countries working to enact similar laws.

The ADA is considered by many to be the “gold standard” of disability rights laws. While it’s not perfect, many achievements have been made under the ADA and it offers standards and principles that can be modified for other cultural contexts.

Our Top ADA Resources

The “RightsNow!” website, www.GlobalDisabilityRightsNow.org, draws on the experience of the U.S. disability rights movement and disability rights activists from around the world. You’ll find original tools developed by our team of RightsNow! experts, links to resources, stories of activism from the field, and consolidated information on disability laws and policies. Listed below are a few of our most highly recommended resources focusing on U.S. laws and political advocacy:

1. Principles of Disability Rights

People with disabilities all over the world have endured unequal treatment and discrimination on the basis of having a disability. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has drawn international attention to ways in which these problems can be acknowledged and redressed through a country’s laws. These principles capture and illustrate common elements of effective disability rights laws around the world. 

2. Lobbying for Disability Rights: The U.S. Experience​​

The U.S. achieved its landmark disability rights law through cross-disability collaboration, strikes and rallies, and outreach to policy makers to share experiences of discrimination. Learn more about the U.S. experience here.

3. National U.S. Disability Laws

Information on federally enacted disability laws in the United States that address various aspects of life for people with disabilities. Learn more about U.S. disability laws here.

4. Educating Businesses on Disability Access

Some countries already have laws requiring businesses to be accessible, but businesses don't know about them. The United States addressed this problem with a series of pamphlets explaining disability laws to businesses. 

5. The Standards Behind the Americans with Disabilities Act

Accessibility standards that guide the design of places, communications, services, and programs to ensure that citizens with disabilities have equal access in all sectors of society. Learn about the U.S. access standards here.

Call to Action

Write to us about your ADA experience! We want to know how you put the ADA into practice in your professional field or in your personal life. It just takes a few minutes to fill-out our online form to make your story, strategy, and tips available to advocates around the globe. 

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About RightsNow! 

GlobalDisabilityRightsNow.org is managed by Mobility International USA (MIUSA) through the RightsNow!: Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities project and in collaboration with the RightsNow! U.S. Consortium, which includes: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and United States International Council on Disabilities.

The RightsNow! project provides technical assistance to civil society and governments in six project countries: Armenia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. The project is funded by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the RightsNow! project here.