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Public Policy & Legislation

Whereas the Civil Rights Act made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, etc. illegal, the Americans with Disabilities Act extended those protections to people with disabilities. Signed into law by president George H. W. Bush in 1990, the ADA was a watershed victory for disability rights. However, just as the Civil Rights Act did not "solve" racism, so too systemic ableism continues to exist and needs to be addressed. In the box to the right are links to resources on the ADA and past disability rights legislation. Below are some of the current bills in Congress.

The Community Choice Act

Introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), this bill would amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide individuals with disabilities and older Americans with equal access to community-based attendant services and supports, and for other purposes.

The Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913; S 909)

The Hate Crimes Prevention Act would provide expanded authority and resources for federal and local officials to investigate and prosecute hate crimes—including those in which the violence occurs because of the victim's gender identity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

The Inclusive Home Design Act ( HR 1408)

The Inclusive Home Design Act (IHDA), sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), would require that new, federally assisted housing have the following accessible features for people with disabilities: entrance, interior doors, environmental controls, habitable space, and bathroom.

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Last updated on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

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