My grandfather’s cane: social consciousness and 25 years of ADA


In 1990, Congress passed and president George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Twenty-five years later, as many across the United States celebrate a quarter century of progress, we should pause to appreciate milestones and confront new obstacles.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.