Think of the 1990s, and visions of neon colors, scrunchies, and blow-up furniture might come to mind. But 1990 also brought us one of the most significant and impactful laws affecting design: the Americans With Disabilities Act, more commonly known as ADA.
Although it was more broadly a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, it also transformed the way buildings were designed across the United States, requiring equal access for those with disabilities to public spaces, transportation, commercial buildings, and places of recreation and respite, like restaurants, hotels, and schools.
In residential design, it had a lasting impact on kitchens and bathrooms in particular, which had notoriously been spaces that were hard to navigate for people with a range of disabilities. For someone in a wheelchair, for example, upper cabinets in a kitchen are often out of reach, and to someone with visual impairments, the lighting and