The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990, 23 years ago today, as then-President George H.W. Bush signed the legislation into law.

The ADA contains five sections, or what are called "titles" in government-ese, to wit: Title I Employment, Title II State and Local Government, Title III Public Accommodations, Title IV Telecommunications, and Title V Transportation (and Miscellaneous). Each title set forth responsibilities of the relevant employers and business owners to fairly and without prejudice hire, protect and acccommodate those with disabilities.

Over the years the ADA lost some of the enforcement powers that Congress originally intended as various courts reinterpreted its definitions and legal provisions, thus bringing Congress to pass the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which was ironically signed into law by the elder Bush's son, George W., on Sept. 25, 2008.

The ADAAA overturned the narrowing definitions of "disability" that resulted from the Supreme Court's Sutton and Toyota decisions "in favor of broad coverage of individuals…to the maximum extent permitted." The ADAAA also further expanded the "major life activities" whose impairment should be construed as a disability.