Americans with Disabilities

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Democrats value the positive contributions of everyone—parents, children, workers, and entrepreneurs—and among us, there are 54 million people in the United States with disabilities. Since the Democratic-led passage of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many disabled Americans are full participants of our communities. We have come a long way since the ADA’s enactment, but there is still more we can do.

The ADA was an important milestone in America’s history. It codified our universal belief that all members of society have the right to make a life for themselves and to add to their communities.

Democrats continue to improve upon this foundation and increase funding to improve parity. We are committed to improving the quality of care for Americans with disabilities, including health care services like Medicare and Medicaid—and also greater enforcement of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, so those with disabilities have easier access to services that tend to personal needs without compromising quality of care.

The Obama Administration has made significant investments in vocational rehabilitation services to help with job training, education, and placement and increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Democrats continue to work to ensure the civil rights of Americans with disabilities are protected and that educational programs, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, are well-funded to provide ample resources for all beneficiaries to succeed.

Recent Updates
  • President Obama declares World Autism Awareness Day 2012

    With the numbers of people on the Autism Spectrum on the rise President Obama has taken critical steps to “ensure persons living with ASDs have the opportunity to pursue their full measure of happiness and achieve their greatest potential.” To help achieve this goal, last September President Obama signed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act which provides funding for autism research, education, early detection and support services. Through the Affordable Care Act insurance plans are required to cover autism screenings and developmental assessments for children at no additional cost. And on April 2, 2012, President Obama proclaimed World Autism Awareness Day 2012 to encourage Americans across the country to educate themselves and learn how they can support individuals and families dealing with autism.

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Americans with Disabilities
Recent Action
Improving opportunities and government services for the disabled
The Recovery Act included additional support for the Individuals with Disabilities Act for vocational rehabilitation services to help with job training, education, and placement and helped reduce the log jam in processing disability applications.