Special Report

26 Landmark Moments for Disability Rights in America

Source: hudopa / Flickr / Public Domain

1988: Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act made it illegal to discriminate against housing applications based on race, religion, those with disabilities, and even families with children. This amended the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Source: Fotosearch / Archive Photos via Getty Images

1990: Americans with Disabilities Act passed

This landmark civil rights law prohibits discrimination against those with both physical and mental disabilities in a wide range of categories, including employment, education, and accessibility to public spaces.

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1990: The Capitol Crawl

This protest was meant to demonstrate the struggles that disabled folks face daily. More than 1,000 protesters showed up in support as members of ADAPT threw themselves out of their chairs, and “crawled” up the steps of the Capitol building.

Source: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza / Public Domain / Wikipedia

1999: Olmstead v. L.C.

This case offered protections to those with mental illness, giving them the right to live the community instead of an institution. The court deemed mental illness as a disability and outlawed the unjustified isolation of these individuals. This decision came after two women who were diagnosed with schizophrenia and personality disorder sued the state of Georgia.

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2008: ADA Amendments Act

George W. Bush signed this amendment, which revised the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This broadened the term “disability,” with the intention to prevent discrimination against a wider range of people.

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