1959 March 13

Advocates for the Blind Demand New Federal Rules


Advocates for the blind on this day demanded new federal rules to protect employees in federal agencies who are blind. Professor Jacobus tenBroek, of the University of California, Berkeley, and President of the National Federation of the Blind, stated that he had lined up 90 members of Congress in support of a bill that would deny federal funds to programs that deny the right of blind employees to organize, and also require representatives of the blind be included in all federal and state advisory committees making policies for the blind.

The fight for the rights of disabled persons culminated in the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990.

The ADA served as the model for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed on March 30, 2007. The U.S. Senate has still not ratified the Convention, however, because of conservative opposition. See December 5, 2012 for a Senate vote on ratification that failed.

Learn more at the ADA home page: http://www.ada.gov/

Read:  Kim Nielsen, A Disability History of the United States (2012)

Learn more: Fred Pelka, What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement (2012)

Learn more at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund: http://dredf.org/

Learn more; read the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

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