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Steve Wright, writer, marketer and disability rights activist, provides a guest post for Smart Cities Dive to commemorate the 30th anniversary fo the sining of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 30 this month, everyone whose work impacts the built environment — architects, engineers, urban designers, town planners and public officials — should be scrambling to observe the landmark federal civil rights legislation.
While the ADA is not a building code or some kind of zoning that can be ignored via variance, its biggest impact by far has been on the civic realm. Buildings, streets, crosswalks, trains, buses, parks, natural trails, city halls, schools, malls, libraries and much more have been made more accessible because of the ADA's adoption on July 26, 1990.
We still have a long way to go toward removing old barriers and approaching accessible design in a creative way, but we certainly are ahead of the game compared to the way life was before the ADA.