Moreover, the predicted flood of lawsuits proved to be imaginary.
Almost 90 percent of the cases brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are thrown out.
At the same time however, the law has not fully delivered on its keys promises to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace and in public accommodations.
The ADA has profoundly changed how society views and accommodates its citizens with disabilities.
Curb cuts designed for wheelchair users are also used by people with baby carriages, delivery people, and people on skateboards and roller blades.
With the Baby Boom generation poised to enter the population of seniors, the number of Americans needing access and universal design will grow enormously.
And only about 650 lawsuits were filed in the ADA 's first five years - a small number compared to 6 million businesses, 666,000 public and private employers, and 80,000 units of state and local governments that must comply.
The American Bar Association recently conducted a survey and learned that, of the cases that actually go to court, 98 percent are decided in favor of the defendants, usually businesses.
The ADA's civil rights protections are parallel to those that have previously been established by the federal government for women and racial, ethnic and religious minorities.
"The ADA is solely about 'equal opportunity', from its preamble to its final provision: like other civil rights laws, the ADA prohibits discrimination and mandates that Americans be accorded equality in pursuing jobs, goods, services and other opportunities -- but the ADA makes clear that equal treatment is not synonymous with identical treatment, says Professor Robert Burgdorf Jr., one of the drafters of the original bill that became the ADA.