Washington and Lee Law Review
One of Congress's principal motivations for enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1 was to help disabled individuals enter into and remain in the American workplace. In the ADA's "findings and purposes" section, Congress stated that "the Nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals." 2 The legislative history is filled with the statements of senators and representatives supporting the Act as a vehicle for bringing individuals with disabilities "into the economic and social mainstream of American life." 3 Legislators viewed the ADA as a win/win situation: Decreased federal government expenditures for supporting unemployed, disabled citizens and increased opportunities for the disabled to enter the workforce and to acquire the independence, self-sufficiency, and dignity they rightly deserve. 4
Stephen F. Befort and Tracey Holmes Donesky, Reassignment Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodation, Affirmative Action, or Both?, 57 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1045 (2000), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/113.