In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, finally granting federally-guaranteed civil rights to people with disabilities. But while the law represented a major advancement, it has yet to fully achieve its purpose. People with disabilities are still fighting for their rights — both individually and through groups like ADAPT — and every one of us should support them in the fight.
If you don’t much — or ever — think about disability rights, you should consider that you yourself could be just one accident or diagnosis away from joining their ranks.
As a member of Congress, I will work to:
Support the community of people with disabilities in their struggle for respect, public acknowledgement, and equal opportunity.
Fight against discrimination, bullying, and abuse of people with disabilities.
Protect and expand the rights won in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including increasing enforcement of rules requiring buildings, places of employment, and public accommodations to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Defeat the Republican-sponsored “ADA Education and Reform Act”, which may have a non-threatening name, but which would actually make it more difficult to enforce the ADA.
Pass the Disability Integration Act, which would prevent people with disabilities from being forced into institutions against their wishes by providing home and community-based services as alternatives to institutionalization. This bill already has bipartisan support. It must be passed as soon as possible, for obvious moral and ethical reasons, and also to force states and municipalities to comply with the Supreme Court’s 1999 decision in the case of Olmstead v. L.C.
Prevent Republicans from making cuts to Medicaid, which is the main insurer for people with disabilities and funds critical services.
Fight Republican attempts to institute work requirements for Medicaid eligibility, which would have an outsize impact on many people with disabilities who are unable to find work.
Increase voting rights of people with disabilities. A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2016 found that some 60% of polling places had one or more impediments to accessibility for people with disabilities. This is unacceptable (and illegal). Municipalities must be held accountable.
Forever ban the use of "aversive" treatments such as electric shocks, which are appallingly still in use (at least at the Judge Rottenberg Center in Massachusetts), on patients at residential group homes and other government-regulated institutions.