Author: Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante
July marks 29 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life—from jobs and school to transportation and accommodations.
Though it seems like a given that individuals with disabilities ought to have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, discrimination based on ability was not federally illegal until the passage of the ADA in 1990. Prior to 1990, accessible parking spaces were few and far between, restaurants, business and recreational areas were not accessible and sensory impairments often went overlooked and unaccommodated.
A new era of inclusion came about as a result of the ADA, setting the foundation for subsequent legislation like the ABLE Act, which, in turn, allowed for the development of ABLE plans like the Enable Savings Plan.
In keeping with the intentions of the ADA, Enable serves the disability community by allowing individuals with disabilities and their families to save for the expenses of daily life, without impacting eligibility for resourced-based benefits.
Being able to save is a right, not a privilege. Yet for years before the ADA and the ABLE Act, individuals with disabilities were barred from saving more than $2,000 without compromising their access to vital programs like SNAP, SSI and Medicaid.
Thanks to the ADA, great strides have been made to ensure that individuals with disabilities can enjoy the same freedoms and level of independence as those without disabilities. Though there is still much more that needs to be done, in the past 29 years we’ve seen a positive increase in the dialogue surrounding such issues, further education about what it means to have a disability and ongoing efforts being made to advocate for the rights of those with disabilities.
The Enable Savings Plan and state of Nebraska are proud to support the ADA in its work to champion individuals with disabilities and we look forward to continuing to offer a robust savings plan to those with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to financial security.