30 Years of ADA: Webinar Series Reflects on Our Progress and Charts Out a Future for Disability Inclusion

By Elise Gurney, Senior Policy Analyst

July 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has transformed protections, access and opportunities for people with disabilities. The anniversary provides an occasion to both commemorate the ADA — to reflect on its significance and the progress we’ve made over the last three decades — and to map out an even more inclusive future.


What was life like before the ADA? What changes did the ADA produce? What programs, within state governments and in the private sector, have most effectively achieved goals of inclusion and integration? And what steps will continue to advance these goals, both in general and within our current COVID-19 landscape? The Council of State Governments is hosting a six-part webinar series to explore these questions, beginning with “The Legacy of the ADA: Celebrating 30 Years of Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

The webinar will be held Thursday, July 30, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET and will feature a panel discussion with four key leaders of disability policy. You can register for the webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8661834264483776525.

Picture of Bobby Silverstein
Bobby Silverstein, Principal PPSV,

Bobby Silverstein is a prolific author, speaker and trainer with 40 years of experience in law focused on disability advocacy. He is known as the “behind-the-scenes architect” of 20 enacted bills, including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Professor at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics

Lex Frieden is professor of Health Informatics and Rehabilitation at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and directs the Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) at TIRR Memorial Hermann. He has served as chairperson of the National Council on Disability, president of Rehabilitation International and chairperson of the American Association of People with Disabilities. He is also a founder of the independent living movement and was instrumental in conceiving and drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Picture of Jill Houghton

Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN, provides global disability inclusion best practices to 100 Disability:IN partners. She has over 25 years of leadership experience at the federal, state and local levels working with businesses to advance the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Picture of David D'Arcangelo
Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


David D’Arcangelo is the current commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and has served as director of the Massachusetts Office on Disability, where he implemented several new and innovative programs. He has extensive experience in government, public policy and non-profit leadership.