American with disability act essay



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The ADA owes its birthright not to any one person, or any few, but to the many thousands of people who make up the disability rights movement — people who have worked for years organizing and attending protests, licking envelopes, sending out alerts, drafting legislation, speaking, testifying, negotiating, lobbying, filing lawsuits, being arrested — doing whatever they could for a cause they believed in. There are far too many people whose commitment and hard work contributed to the passage of this historic piece of disability civil rights legislation to be able to give appropriate credit by name.

Without the work of so many — without the disability rights movement — there would be no ADA. The disability rights movement, over the last couple of decades, has made the injustices faced by people with disabilities visible to the American public and to politicians. The disability rights movement adopted many of the strategies of the civil rights movements before it.

Like the African-Americans who sat in at segregated lunch counters and refused to move to the back of the bus, people with disabilities sat in federal buildings, obstructed the movement of inaccessible buses, and marched through the streets to protest injustice. And like the civil rights movements before it, the disability rights movement sought justice in the courts and in the halls of Congress. From a legal perspective, a profound and historic shift in disability public policy occurred in with the passage of Section of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section , which banned discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal funds, was modelled after previous laws which banned race, ethnic origin and sex based discrimination by federal fund recipients.

Americans with Disabilities Act in Special Education

For the first time, the exclusion and segregation of people with disabilities was viewed as discrimination. Previously, it had been assumed that the problems faced by people with disabilities, such as unemployment and lack of education, were inevitable consequences of the physical or mental limitations imposed by the disability itself.

As with racial minorities and women, Congress recognized that legislation was necessary to eradicate discriminatory policies and practices. Section was also historic because for the first time people with disabilities were viewed as a class — a minority group. Previously, public policy had been characterized by addressing the needs of particular disabilities by category based on diagnosis.

Each disability group was seen as separate, with differing needs.

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Section recognized that while there are major physical and mental variations in different disabilities, people with disabilities as a group faced similar discrimination in employment, education and access to society. People with disabilities were seen as a legitimate minority, subject to discrimination and deserving of basic civil rights protections.

The coalition of people with disabilities has been constantly put to the test by attempts to remove protections for particular groups. After Section established the fundamental civil right of non-discrimination in , the next step was to define what non-discrimination meant in the context of disability. How was it the same or different from race and sex discrimination? The Department of Health, Education and Welfare HEW had been given the task of promulgating regulations to implement Section , which would serve as guidelines for all other federal agencies.

These regulations became the focus of attention for the disability rights movement for the next four years. During this time the movement grew in sophistication, skill and visibility. The first task was to assure that the regulations provided meaningful anti-discrimination protections.

It was not enough to remove policy barriers — it was imperative that the regulations mandated affirmative conduct to remove architectural and communication barriers and provide accommodations. The second step was to force a recalcitrant agency to get the regulations out. All over the country people with disabilities sat-in at HEW buildings. The longest sit-in was in San Francisco, lasting 28 days. A lawsuit was filed, hearings before Congress were organized, testimony was delivered to Congressional committees, negotiations were held, letters were written. The disability community mobilized a successful campaign using a variety of strategies, and on May 4, the Section regulations were issued.

It is these regulations which form the basis of the ADA. For two years, representatives from the disability community met with Administration officials to explain why all of the various de-regulation proposals must not be adopted. These high level meetings would not have continued or been successful without the constant bombardment of letters to the White House from people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities around the country protesting any attempt to de-regulate Section After a remarkable show of force and commitment by the disability community, the Administration announced a halt to all attempts to de-regulate Section This was a tremendous victory for the disability movement.

Those two years proved to be invaluable in setting the stage for the ADA. Not only were the Section regulations, which form the basis of the ADA, preserved, but it was at this time that high officials of what later became the Bush administration received an education on the importance of the concepts of non-discrimination contained in the Section regulations in the lives of people with disabilities.

The CRRA sought to overturn Grove City College v Bell, a Supreme Court decision that had significantly restricted the reach of all the statutes prohibiting race, ethnic origin, sex or disability discrimination by recipients of federal fund.

The History of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Do not make assumptions by saying a person with a disability is heroic or inspiring because they are simply living their lives. Stereotypes may raise false expectations that everyone with a disability is or should be an inspiration. People may be inspired by them just as they may be inspired by anyone else. Everyone faces challenges in life. The fact that someone is blind or uses a wheelchair may or may not be relevant to the article you are writing.

Only identify a person as having a disability if this information is essential to the story. Tearjerkers about incurable diseases, congenital disabilities or severe injury that are intended to elicit pity perpetuate negative stereotypes. All Rights Reserved. Skip to main content. National Network.

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  • Accessible Restaurants and Bars. More events Ask to find out if an individual is willing to disclose their disability. Emphasize abilities, not limitations. In general, refer to the person first and the disability second. By Alex Long, Professor of Law.


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    • Despite these obligations, there are some areas where the profession has lagged behind. One of the most glaring instances of underrepresentation involves lawyers with disabilities. According to the Census Bureau, roughly 19 percent of the US population has some type of disability.

      Essay: Accommodation as professionalism | University of Tennessee College of Law

      Yet, according to the National Association of Law Placement, only 0. The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA seeks to promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities by requiring that employers provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. This requirement is best viewed as a means of eliminating unnecessary barriers that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying equality of opportunity. In the case of law firms, this might mean that a firm provides inexpensive technological devices to enable disabled lawyers to perform their jobs, or a supervisor provides written—as opposed to verbal—instructions.

      One reason for the lack of diversity in the legal profession almost certainly has to do with the fact that some firms are reluctant to provide the required reasonable accommodations.

      American with disability act essay
      American with disability act essay
      American with disability act essay
      American with disability act essay
      American with disability act essay
      American with disability act essay

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