In commemoration today’s anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we are sharing Current History‘s recent virtual issue on disability rights.

People with disabilities comprise the world’s largest minority, at roughly 15 percent of the global population. Most people will experience some kind of disability at some point in their lives. But until recently, there were few formal protections for the rights of the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 marked the beginning of a new era for disability rights, setting a legislative template for other nations to follow. In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, setting new global standards. To what extent have these milestones really had impact on the ground and affected everyday life over this period? To find out, Current History commissioned a series of essays looking into how disability rights and realities have evolved in each part of the world. The articles collected in this virtual issue first appeared in the journal in 2021–22.

Disabled People’s Fight for Rights in South Korea and Japan
Volume 120, Number 827, September 2021
Celeste L. Arrington

Strategies of Disability Activism in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia
Volume 120, Number 828, October 2021
Svetlana Borodina

Climate Disaster Risk, Disability, and Resilience
Volume 120, Number 829, November 2021
Emma Calgaro

Disability Rights in the Middle East: Opportunities and Obstacles
Volume 120, Number 830, December 2021
Christine Sargent

How Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Are Fighting for Decision-Making Rights
Volume 121, Number 831, January 2022
Chester A. Finn, Matthew S. Smith, Michael Ashley Stein

History and Divisions in Nicaragua’s Disability Rights Movement
Volume 121, Number 832, February 2022
Stephen Meyers

Disability Rights and Cross-National Disparities in Europe
Volume 121, Number 833, March 2022
Aude Lejeune

Slow Progress for Women with Disabilities in India
Volume 121, Number 834, April 2022
Renu Addlakha

Disability Rights and Wrongs in Uganda
Volume 121, Number 835, May 2022
Tyler Zoanni