The ADA is 31! Here’s Seven Disability Rights Issues You Need to Know About

July 26, 2021
The ADA is 31! Here’s Seven Disability Rights Issues You Need to Know About

For the 31st anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, we partnered with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to explore some disability rights issues you need to know and care about. Because here’s the truth: More than three decades after passage of the ADA, there is so much work left to do to ensure that the ADA’s goal of full participation and inclusion is a reality for ALL people with disabilities. Never forget this: Disability rights are civil and human rights!

You can share the following graphics on The Leadership Conference’s Instagram.

Title slide with large typography on colorful background reads “7 disability rights issues you need to know about.” The Leadership Conference logo is in the lower corner, with a swipe arrow pointing right.

Number 1. Title “Supported Decision-Making,” People with disabilities can often be left powerless in guardianships and conservatorships, where another person is legally allowed to make decisions on their behalf. Supported decision-making is an alternative to this all-or-nothing arrangement that gives dignity and independence back to people with disabilities who can - and should - be determining their own lives. Swipe right arrow.

Number 2. Title “Dignity of Risk,” Every person has the right to take chances in life, like move to a new city, change careers, hike up that mountain, and open up a dating app. There is dignity in making your own choices in life. Too often, people with disabilities are not afforded this dignity because of the potential risks that come with those choices. But risks are everywhere and unpreventable. All people deserve the dignity of risk. Swipe right arrow.
Number 3. Title “Ableism,” Ableism is discrimination based on disability status. Ableism perpetuates assumptions and stereotypes that disability is an inherently negative thing, and in need of “fixing,” and that non-disabled people are more valuable or worthy. Disability is, in fact, a natural part of the human experience. Swipe right arrow.

Number 4. Title “Subminimum Wage,” Section 14(c) of the FLSA allows people with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage, leaving people vulnerable to a life of poverty and exploitation. Do we really want to continue to use a legal relic to take advantage of workers with disabilities, and not pay them the minimum wage like everyone else? Swipe right arrow.

Number 5. Title “Infrastructure,” All infrastructure must be accessible. Prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act, traditional physical infrastructure kept people with disabilities out – like buildings that lacked elevators. Today, as lawmakers consider robust plans to bolster infrastructure in America, broader and more inclusive approaches to infrastructure must center accessibility and the disability community. Swipe right arrow.

Number 6. Title “Intersectionality,” When the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was first signed, many disabled leaders were missing from the table, including people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities. People of all backgrounds must be included in order to end ableism and systemic discrimination in all aspects of life. Swipe right arrow.

Number 7. Title “Voting Rights,” States across the country are introducing and passing legislation making it harder for people with disabilities to vote. Some lawmakers are limiting vote-by-mail options, ballot drop boxes, early voting, and more. Some have even proposed that people with disabilities should have to prove their disability before getting a mail-in ballot. These discriminatory laws do nothing but stifle our freedom to vote. Swipe right arrow.

Title “Now What?” Leave a comment, ask a question or share a resource in the comments to keep the conversation going! Learn more about disability rights related issues from the National Disability Rights Network. Follow: @ndrnadvocates, Learn: