Disability, Guest Bloggers

The ADA Benefits All People, Not Just “Americans with Disabilities”

July 26, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: July 26, 2023

Woman in wheelchair entering elevator back viewJuly 26, 2023, marks the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This landmark civil rights law protects millions of people with disabilities across the country.

The Access Board is celebrating accessible design features encountered in everyday life that benefit everyone, not just those with disabilities. Read on to learn more!

  1. Ramps and Curb Ramps. Ramps and curb ramps help everyone using wheeled devices like strollers and wheeled briefcases! They are required in the ADA Accessibility Standards for wheelchair access.
  2. Detectable Warning Surfaces. Have you ever wondered what those surface patterns of small domes that cross curb ramps are for? They are detectable warning surfaces, designed to alert pedestrians who are blind or have low vision to the presence of a hazard, such as a road. They are also required on open boarding platforms in rail stations to discourage people from standing too close to the edge of the platform.
  3. Elevators. Moving between floors can be challenging when carrying luggage at the airport. Thanks to accessible design, we have access to elevators! And while elevators are convenient for moving your luggage, they’re required to provide airport vertical access for people with disabilities.
  4. Clear Walkways. No one likes to hit their head on wall sconces or walk into handrails, signs on posts, or wall-mounted drinking fountains. That’s why the ADA requires minimum headroom clearance and minimum horizontal protrusions.
  5. Audible and Visual Announcements. Isn’t it helpful to hear and see announcements for stops when riding a bus or subway line? Those audible and visual announcements are required so that people who are blind or have low vision or are deaf or hard of hearing can know when their stops are approaching.

While the ADA addresses accessibility as a whole, Social Security seeks to remove barriers to employment for people who receive disability benefits through the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program. The PABSS program provides legal representation and advocacy services for people receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Act who are experiencing a barrier to employment, whether they are trying to begin, regain, or maintain employment. We all benefit from accessible design, diversity in the workplace, and programs that support both, like the PABSS program.

Share this information with your neighbors, friends, and family! To learn more about the history of the ADA and the Access Board’s work, visit the Access Board’s website.

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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  1. Carol C.

    ssa was calling me and they told me that they cut my dad’s Ssdi or neither ssa off to remove on my name because of married. so my husband was deaf and had work which not enough so my ssi cut it off because of married. we have struggler because of one income when our bills too high expensive that is more harder for us budget . so i am frustrating impossible struggler. all one thing is my question why they had to cut me off while I had married . we married one income is not enough budget for this. I surprise that ssa said you married and you can’t have your father’s Ssdi or ssa. make me confusing because I am deaf and hard to find a job that is reason why.

    • Ted B.

      Hello Carol C, I’m sorry they cut your check because you’re married. The difference between SSDI and SSI is SSDI is for people that worked and received a certain amount of credits. SSI is for people that haven’t worked or worked but didn’t have enough credits. The same thing happened to my mom when she married my step-dad she had to go under his SSDI and Pension because SSI only allow you to have a certain amount of income, it’s like being on welfare. I think that is so unfair the only option I can give you is apply for Disability housing and you would only have to pay 30% of your income for rent and utilities or separate households. You might have to read the rules for SSDI and SSI. I pray everything work out for you

  2. Bryce

    so good to see you replying to the comments helping others with serious questions.

    Great article and super informative. Well done.

    have a great weekend.

  3. Allen

    I’m disabled. On ssdi and I don’t understand why anyone would want to be on disability! Who would want to be disabled and forced to make 800-1000 a month? You better hope you have a good relationship with your parents or some friends because someone has to help with bills and basic living needs! You don’t get any form of entertainment! Your entertainment is called figuring out making month to month. Cutting coupons or asking for rides to doctors appointments. Once a year you get a kola raise for $0.50. That’s .50 cents a month or $6 a year while listening to the house, senate, president etc getting their $50,000 yr raise. Yet the entire country is worried about inflation and the national debt. The biggest concern every one should have is the baby boomers generation is all about to be on SSI. So, not only are the disabled currently getting screwed but it’s about to happen to all SSI recipients because no one cares about the disabled or elderly until you’re one of them!
    My point is what does it hurt to at least give the disabled and elderly the avg poverty rate instead of “help” for them to live with someone else?
    We are the forgotten because they want us out sight and out of mind! We can’t afford to be in sight. The majority can’t even afford for internet.
    Just remember it could be you, your child, or a love one! Every day a disability happens to a perfectly normal person.

    • Deb M.

      I’m truly sorry that you have more difficulties than those who are married. Although it’s really the same situation. My husband carries all of my medications and co-pays, I have enough to make a car payment, new bras which are not considered a luxury, they are necessary for everyday living, on top of that the price is steep. No one wants to go to Goodwill or The Salvation Army thrift store for used socks and underwear. I doubt that the government officials have even taken that into consideration. How about Monthly care packages with basic fundamental items. ie. toothbrushes, toothpaste, deorderant, toilet paper etc… not all on Social Security and Medicare are on Medicaid and “Extra Help”

      • Ted B.

        Hello Deb M. I definitely can relate to not being able to afford a good bra. I need a 44K and have to shop on the internet to find my size. I just want to give FYI for some insurance through the Medicare Advantage plan they offer Over The Counter (OTC) benefits. I thought it was just for medical supplies but my OTC cover a large amount of extra cost items I would normally have to purchase like diabetic socks and underwear. Me and my husband both are disabled and yes it’s very frustrating how we worked our entire life then don’t get enough income to purchase daily needs or bills. When I started working minimum wage was $4.35/hr. I did any and all type of work my entire life and it makes you feel terrible that you can’t work and have to beg family/friends for money to purchase Food but a mother with children that’s capable of working can get food benefits. I get $23 a month from SNAP. This entire system needs to be thought over. I’ve been reading other people comments but yours stuck with me the most. I just figured I would share about the OTC benefits with Medicare Advantage. Hopefully this will help someone who’s having the same experience. Take care everyone

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    • Judy

      I too am disabled. I wish I could walk again, but the last stroke left me in the wheelchair, so I decided I had enough, and tried to walk and fell, and broke my hip, then came the surgery. I know what you mean about how to make ends meet and clipping coupons. When I worked I was the person that helped people! Now I’m the one that has someone help me!

  4. John J.

    Only individuals that contribute into the Social Security system should be allowed to receive benefits. To do otherwise CHEATS all who contributed into the system over their lifetime. If you have not contributed to SS, then let there be another government program to help out the disabled. Bluntly put, contribute BEFORE you are allowed to draw benefits. NO exceptions

    • Deb M.

      Agreed, how are the immigrants being funded?

    • Barbara

      I agree. Some one I know was over 600lbs the state paid for her gastric bypass and with in 3 years she’s over 400 lbs she’s never worked in her life .I’ve worked over 28 years .I’m on ssdi.shes on ssi we all get a cost of living wage but she don’t get kicked off medicaid but I do .cause hers ain’t considered income .grrrrrr.im a double lung transplant. I can’t work due to other health problems that arise.they need to raise the poverty level to equal what your raise was .oh ppl get excited for cola but at what cost.for me I get kicked off medicaid cause I made too much in idaho smh.i don’t think the states should decide on what income thrash hold to qualify for medicaid .it’s not a state funded .Smh

  5. Rose H.

    My disabled veteran son was referred to a dentist for periodontal work. He is wheelchair bound and mostly blind. The sidewalk entering the area to the front door had a 3 inch drop and the doors entering the building were hard to open and no way to stay open while pushing a wheelchair through the door. I had to ask for help to get him in the building. Why is a large dental office not ADA compliant?

    • Deb M.

      Tell your son Thank you for his service to our country. I appreciate him even though the Gov’t does not.

  6. Prema V.

    I appreciate the ADA benefits. I have a friend who has Dementia and she gets lost by taking a wrong train/bus.

    Can ADA benefits be extended to those individuals with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease by providing them with bracelets or neckless with Medic Alert ?
    More and more people with this disease speak very little or no English.

  7. Linda P.

    Is an employer required to provide no cost transportation to a worker’s compensation doctor appointment for an employee that has an active claim but has a disability that prevents them from driving to the appointment themselves?

    • Deborah L.

      Sadly NO. But you should check with your health insurance membership services to see if your policy covers it as a perk. Many do these days, esp. if you are on Medicare. Also you might see if your *HSA acct covers it (Health Savings Acct).

    • Deb M.

      Was his open worker’s comp claim due to an injury that doesn’t allow him to drive, happen while he was working? If he came to work at full capacity and was injured while he was working at his place of employment, doing his job and became injured during his time on the clock through no fault of his own, couldn’t you call UBER until his case has been settled?

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