1973 September 26

Rights of the Disabled: Congress Passes Rehabilitation Act

 

The 1973 Rehabilitation Act, passed by Congress and signed into law on this day, was an important milestone in federal programs for disabled persons. It replaced previous laws in 1954 and 1965. Section 504 of the law was particularly important, expanding the rights of persons with disabilities, greatly expanded grants to the states for vocational rehabilitation, and also expanding federal research and training related to persons with disabilities.

When the Department of Health, Education & Welfare (HEW) failed to issue regulations implementing Section 504, disability rights activists protested with a sit-in on April 5, 1977. HEW issued the regulations three weeks later.

The campaign for the rights of the disabled culminated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA served as the model for the United Nations 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.

Visit the National Disability Rights website: http://www.napas.org/

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

Visit the ADA website: http://www.ada.gov/

Study a timeline on federal laws and regulations regarding disabled persons: http://www.in.gov/fssa/files/History_and_Regulations.pdf

Learn more at the National Disability Rights Network: http://www.ndrn.org/index.php

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!