Yesterday, the Americans with Disabilities Act turned 25 years old. We've come a long way in the past 25 years, from a statute intended to open employment access to those with disabilities, to decades of judicial decisions that effectively closed that access, to a revised statute that has swung the pendulum so far the other way that it is now hard to envision a medical condition not covered.
The ADA's workplace focus now squarely rests on the issue of accommodation. For this reason, the law's next 25 years will be greatly impacted by technology. As technology makes our lives easier, it makes employers' jobs in accommodating disabilities more complex. And, as technologies change over time, these issues will only become more complex. Biotechnology, for example, iillustration of this tension.
So, happy birthday, ADA.