The perceptions of people with disabilities as to the effectiveness of the Americans with Disabilities Act's implementation

Catherine Amelia Hinton, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of people with disabilities as to the effectiveness of the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A cross-sectional research design was used in this study. People with disabilities were surveyed about their perceptions of accessibility to measure the effectiveness of the ADA's implementation on individuals. The focus of the survey was on Title II (public sector), Title III (private sector), and Title IV (telecommunications) accessibility issues. The basic research question was whether or not people with disabilities with differing characteristics have different perceptions as to the effectiveness of the ADA's implementation. Characteristics of people with disabilities that might influence how they perceive the effectiveness of the ADA's implementation included type of disability, length of time of disability, membership in disability organizations, and employment status. These characteristics became the independent variables for the study. Perceptions of the accessibility of Title II (public sector), Title III (private sector), and Title IV (telecommunications) issues were the dependent variables. Hypotheses addressing these variables were developed to examine the research question. The null hypothesis version for each of these variables was that there would be no difference in perceptions of the ADA's effectiveness among those who had differing characteristics. ^ Multiple analyses were performed to test each hypothesis in relation to perceptions of Title II (public sector), Title III (private sector), and Title IV (telecommunications) accessibility. All of the study's null hypotheses were accepted due to the overall lack of statistical significance in the analyses. Only one analysis, type of disability in relation to Title II (public sector) accessibility, was statistically significant. No significant differences were found in the other analyses related to type of disability, length of time of disability, disability organization membership, or employment status in how respondents perceived the effectiveness of the ADA's implementation. ^ In comparing the different titles with one another, Title II (public sector) was rated somewhat higher than Title III (private sector). However, in neither case did a majority of respondents rate accessibility issues covered by these titles as better. In contrast, a majority of respondents rated Title IV (telecommunications) as better. This pattern of response was consistent throughout the multiple analyses. The more favorable perception of Title IV (telecommunications) was attributed to it having a smaller, less diverse target group and smaller degree of change required for implementation. ^ This study has provided some information about the ADA's effectiveness at the level of the persons it is intended to benefit. Because the perception of its effectiveness was largely unfavorable, it suggests that future research efforts should be directed toward determining the reasons for this and toward suggesting ways to improve either the law or its implementation.^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Catherine Amelia Hinton, "The perceptions of people with disabilities as to the effectiveness of the Americans with Disabilities Act's implementation" (1999). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007608.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007608

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