Bridges Resource Library

ADA in Employment and Independent Living

Updated as of February 10, 2024.

July is Disability Pride Month because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed on July 26, 1990. The ADA built upon earlier legislation to strengthen the civil rights protections of individuals with disabilities.

In July 2023, our Maryland Bridges Technical Assistance Center celebrated #DisabilityPrideMonth with a series of video interviews about the origins of the ADA and its impact over the past three decades.

In this interview, members of the Bridges Technical Assistance Center team interview Eric Bridges, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) as we investigate the positive impacts of the ADA on accessibility in employment and in many areas of independent living.

ADA in Employment and Independent Living Video Interview

In this ADA in Employment and Independent Living video interview with Bridges’ Project Coordinator Chris Nusbaum and Director Carlton Anne Cook Walker, AFB President and CEO Eric Bridges shares the unique history of the AFB and its current programs that nurture blind leaders and provide support for individuals to pursue careers that support digital inclusion. He then highlights the importance of individual interests and goals and examines the impact of the ADA over the past three decades and highlights areas where further growth is needed.

Mr. Bridges became the President and CEO of the AFB in April of this year. Before that, he served the American Council of the Blind as Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, Director of External Relations and Policy, and, most recently, as its Executive Director.

Link to video transcript

Contents of the video interview with time stamps

Welcome and Introduction by Chris Nusbaum at 0:02

About Eric Bridges at 1:42

The American Foundation for the Blind and Helen Keller at 4:09

The History and Work of the American Foundation for the Blind at 5:10

AFB’s Blind Leaders Development Program at 7:45

AFB’s Talent Lab at 8:43

Has the ADA Benefited People with Disabilities? at 9:24

ADA Successes and Future Needs at 10:35

Importance of Exploring Your Interests at 11:20

Importance of Varied Experiences Growing Up at 13:18

Focus on the Individuals’ Interest, Not Level of Sight at 13:46

Importance of AFB’s Research Activities at 14:26

Impact of the ADA on Life for All at 14:54

Impact of the ADA on Technology and Information Access at 15:56

Impact of the ADA on Transportation Access at 17:09

Impact of the ADA on Productivity and Independent Living at 17:53

Need for Continued Advocacy at 18:18

Recognizing Our Advocacy Wins and Moving Forward at 19:09

Closing Remarks at 20:31

Check Out The Bridges YouTube Channel

The Bridges Technical Assistance Center has a YouTube channel that contains all of our video offerings. Please check them out!

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.


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