Home       About the Author       Key Documents       Accessibility

Burgdorf logo

Disability Rights Trail
and Chronicles of the
Americans with Disabilities Act

Featured Postings

Here are features in ADAchronicles.org that I particularly recommend.

The first two stories on the STORIES & ESSAYS main menu tab, “There Oughta’ Be A Law: Discriminatory Short-Circuit of Summer Job" and “There Oughta’ Be A Law: The Bob Brunner Story” provide two concrete personal examples of why an ADA-type law was sorely needed.

Tom Gilhool

When disability rights attorney extraordinaire, Tom Gilhool, passed away on August 22, 2020, the Public Interest Law Center aptly and eloquently eulogized him:

Tom helped bring about generational advances in the rights of people with disabilities nationwide, leading the first case establishing the right to public education and championing the movement for services based in the community. He was also a founding figure in civil legal aid...

Disability, Pandemic,
and Discrimination:
People With Disabilities
Shafted Again

This essay identifies a number of ways in which measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic have shafted persons with disabilities, and analyzes how and why people with disabilities were shortchanged. As all Americans and all agencies of government and the private sector do their parts to end the pandemic and get the country back on its feet, they must do so in a way that ensures equal justice and avoids discrimination against people with disabilities.

Recent Postings

More to Come!

This project began as a book about how the disability rights movement originated and progressed, and my insider story of the making of the ADA. After a few decades of writing, and with the 30th anniversary of the ADA rapidly approaching, I realized that a different medium and format would make my objective a reality sooner and more effectively.

ADA 30th Anniversary in Tumultuous Times

The thirtieth anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act came at a gut-wrenching, disorienting, transformational moment. In the midst of a worldwide catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, our society is grappling tooth and nail with deep-rooted, systemic racism; gender discrimination and harassment; homophobia and violence against LGBTQ individuals: inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum-seekers; surging homelessness; police violence; economic recession...

Rap Video About Burgdorf’s Life & Career

I was delightfully surprised and amazed at what two young historians, Eleni Corson and Abigail Crowley, from Boise, Idaho, submitted as a Junior Group Performance entry for National History Day 2020–a rap video about my disability rights career set to the music of Hamilton: “The Obliteration of Discrimination through Legislation: Rapping the Story of Robert Burgdorf and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”


This website has been a blessing and a headache. It grew out of my compulsion to write a book on the history of the Disability Rights Movement and the origin and development of the ADA; and out of my failure to complete such a book. It was born out of the inspired idea of my wife, Andi Farbman, that maybe a website was a better way to tell my stories and share my experiences and insights. Going from that idea to this website has been incredibly rewarding and unbelievably complicated, difficult, and exhausting. I could never have made it to the point of launching this website without the astounding assistance and tenacious support of a remarkable band of generous, highly capable people. Click the link below to join me in thanking them.

Sign Up for Updates!

We will update this website frequently with additional content, stories, and news related to disability rights and the ADA. Submit your name and email below to receive notifications of these updates by email. (All fields required.)