Legislation is an important starting point to make changes in society, even more when talking about accessibility to ensure its compliance, but it is not enough.
During this summer, 30th birthday of American Disabilities Act has been celebrated. This law when first signed in 1990 represented a huge step forward for the rights of people with disabilities in all life aspects. One of the most important aspects, necessary to ensure the achievement of many of the rest, was regulated for the first time, the built environment accessibility. Public spaces, places of work, houses, means of transport… all these were regulated to avoid discrimination and keep in mind the different needs of people. So, for designers and architects, ADA´s evolution has represented a new way of building.
However, legislation must continue evolving, adapting to the needs of society, as these first standards don´t meet everyone´s needs. Legislation improvement must be accompanied by further professionals education and awareness. When in 1990 this law was introduced, guidelines were given very concrete and clearly, as these requirements could have not been considered never before. But nowadays these minimum requirements can´t be considered as a building code, these must be understood as a baseline to take into account when designing, but keeping always in mind people´s needs.
These experiences can be analysed from other countries to learn from them and continue working together to get a real inclusive and accessible world.