07/26/2010 10:26 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is the ADA DOA?

chair.jpgToday, the nation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, but will you care?

Most of us don't, including many of those with disabilities. According to a survey by the Kessler Foundation and the National Organization on Disability:

A majority (61%) of people with disabilities say that the ADA of 1990 has made no difference in their life, while just about one quarter (23%) report that the ADA has made their life better. Only 4% report that it has made their life worse and 7% have not heard of
the ADA.

Those are pretty sad numbers for a law that was supposed to level the field for disabled workers. Bias against disabled workers is still rampant, and the unemployment rate among the disabled is nearly 15 percent, and far more are so discouraged they don't even look for work.

While the Act was a great first step, enforcement of the law is the only way things will change, right?

Here's a video I did along with Diana Gialo on the ADA anniversary and thoughts from government and disabled advocates on what needs to be done. The top dog at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency with the task of enforcing the ADA, said she is ready to roll her sleeves up and enforce the law:

Change takes a long time. But things won't change until employers are forced to accept people with disabilities who can do the job; or who need a little help to make the workplace work for them.