Home > Free Essays > Sociology > Racism > Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action

Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Dec 7th, 2019


The American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Affirmative Action were instituted to counter inequality. The ADA was instituted to offer civil rights protection to Americans with disabilities. ADA ensures equal opportunities for people with disabilities in government services and public accommodation.

On the other hand, affirmative action was meant to introduce people of various races, genders, religious affiliations, and ethnic groups into workplaces and occupations where they were previously missing (Capaldi 15). This essay seeks to analyze both the ADA and affirmative Action and how they affect diverse populations.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a concept that comes up frequently in day-to-day life. This subject comes up in workplaces, government organizations, educational settings, and even in performance arts. Calls for affirmative action began in the civil rights movements’ era. However, the term Affirmative Action was first used in 1961 through an order signed by President Kennedy (Capaldi 48).

The concept was later amended to include women in the concept. During the 1996 general election, it was an issue of concern with republicans calling for its abolishment. According to them, Affirmative Action was reverse racism. The State of California removed affirmative action in its statutes in 1997.

Affirmative action was touted under the banner; equal opportunity for all. However, marginalized populations are still reeling in poverty a few decades after affirmative action. Some have argued that the government put affirmative action in place and then forewent its responsibility of combating poverty among marginalized populations.

Affirmative action just inducts a few members of minority groups into the system. On the contrary, a sizable majority of the same population is locked out thus making this concept quite ineffective.

For affirmative action to work, another group of the population has to be discriminated against. For instance, the reason African-Americans were included in the affirmative action was to compensate them after centuries of social injustices.

However, now whenever an African American is offered a job under affirmative action, there probably is an equally qualified white American being passed over. This, some argue, is unwarranted discrimination.

Affirmative action may serve as an encouragement for mediocrity and incompetence. If the only way a member of a minority race can advance is through affirmative action, then the value of hard work among this population will be negated. People of any group in the population should believe in their ability to progress on their own.

One of the important principles of governing is the principle of merit. Affirmative action overlooks this principle in that it rewards association other than excellence. Principle of merit is responsible for a smooth running of the society.

Affirmative action ensures people of a minority race achieve things they would not have otherwise achieved. These beneficiaries of affirmative action go on to become role models for the rest of their communities. In addition, affirmative action advocates for a diverse society. This means a member of any group of the population may achieve or be involved in any activity of his/her choice.

Without diversity, it is easy for some portions of the population to be overrun by dominant ones. Moreover, affirmative action works by leveling the playground for all (Atkinson and Hackett 143). Some scientists believe that the only reason some members of the population advance more than others, is because they have better opportunities. Affirmative action is meant to provide all with equal opportunities to help them in their advancement.

Americans with Disabilities Act

It is estimated that more than fifty million Americans have disabilities. This represents a significant portion of the population that is protected under the ADA. The ADA came into effect in 1992. It spelt hope for millions of disabled people across the country.

The ADA requires employers to offer reasonable accommodation to their employees with disabilities. The cost of this requirement is estimated at around nine hundred dollars per worker. These economic implications are the subject of debate amongst ADA critics.

ADA regulations were meant to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities when it comes to wage determination. However, by year 1997, the wages of the disabled were still forty percent lower than that of their non-disabled counterparts. This fact seems to nullify the effectiveness of ADA.

ADA’s main goal was to help people with disabilities realize their dreams. Groups of people with disabilities have attested that ADA has achieved this goal. People with disabilities have witnessed positive changes in their lives since ADA came into force.


ADA and affirmative action were incepted in the spirit of the civil rights movement. This means that their goal was to ensure justice and equal right for all regardless of an individuals’ physical, racial, religious, or gender attributes.

The issue of affirmative action being racism in reverse is still being debated in various States. This has prompted some States to do away with affirmative action. On the other hand, ADA has successfully improved the lives of people living with disabilities.

Works Cited

Atkinson, Donald, and Hackett, Gail. Counseling Diverse Populations, Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004. Print.

Capaldi, Nicholas. Out of Order: Affirmative Action and the Crisis of Doctrinaire Liberalism, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1985. Print.

This essay on Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, December 7). Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-ada-and-affirmative-action/

Work Cited

"Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action." IvyPanda, 7 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-ada-and-affirmative-action/.

1. IvyPanda. "Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action." December 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-ada-and-affirmative-action/.


IvyPanda. "Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action." December 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-ada-and-affirmative-action/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action." December 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-ada-and-affirmative-action/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Critique of ADA and Affirmative Action'. 7 December.

More related papers