· 30th Anniversary ·

Americans with Disabilities Act

In 2020, we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA changed the landscape of America by requiring buildings and transportation to be wheelchair accessible, and to provide workplace accommodations for people with disabilities.

Senator Harkin Delivers first speech from the Senate floor in American Sign Language

Upon passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 13, 1990, Senator Harkin delivered a speech on the Senate floor in American Sign Language. Senator Harkin knew firsthand about the challenges of facing people with disabilities from his brother, Frank, who had been deaf since an early age. 


Iowa Press Special

Watch an Iowa Press Special on the Americans with Disabilities Act, featuring Harkin Institute Policy Director Amy Bentley.


July 24 | ADA Anniversary Flight of Hope

Jessica Cox, the first and only armless pilot will fly with Senator Tom Harkin in celebration of the ADA.

Meet members of the ADA Generation

In 2015, Senator Tom Harkin sat down with 11 millennials— students at Drake University who are part of the ADA Generation. Some have a disability; some do not. But all draw on their unique perspectives as they consider the next 25 years and what may—and should—lie ahead for persons with disabilities in 2040.

Millennial Faces

Looking Ahead


Address: 2800 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311

Phone: (515) 271-3623

Email: harkininstitute@drake.edu

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.