Lawproject - 1 Special Education 212 Law Project Dr....

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1 Special Education 212 Law Project Dr. Neuville 04-17-2008 Nicole Strine, Michelle Cinciripino
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2 “More than 50 million Americans have some kind of physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental disability ( About the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 )”. Before laws were passed to protect people with disabilities they were discriminated against, not treated as people and automatically thrown into institutions. In the institutions they received a lack of food, shelter and daily care and were treated like animals. Today, institutions are rare, however people with disabilities are still discriminated against, which goes to show that improvements still need to be made. Americans with Disabilities Act The Americans with Disabilities Act grew from the 1960 Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement of 1960 protected minorities and women, however it did not protect the rights of people with disabilities until later. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 also helped in the development of the ADA. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability by recipients of federal financial assistance. This did not give protections from employers or public accommodations. It took the ADA to address these areas not covered by section 504. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. “ADA defines a disability as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a “major life activity” or has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such impairment (ADA Handbook)”. A “major life activity” refers to caring for oneself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working (ADA Handbook). Under ADA, state and local government is not able to refuse the right to participate in a service, program or activity to a person with a disability, based solely on the fact that they have a
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3 disability. All programs must be accessible as well as usable by individuals with disabilities. The governments must also ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs and activities because of buildings being inaccessible. ADA believes that the integration of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of society is essential to productive lives for people with disabilities. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Before the implementation of IDEA, many children were denied access to education and the opportunity to learn. Some states had laws which excluded certain students such as deaf, blind and emotionally disturbed. Children were often sent to different schools to be educated, usually located far from their home. “In 1967, for example, state institutions were homes for almost 200,000 persons with significant disabilities (U.S. Department of Education)”. Public Law 94-142 was a start to the education of children with disabilities. This law
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Lawproject - 1 Special Education 212 Law Project Dr....

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