AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES
“ No one should face discrimination based on disability status. Democrats are committed to realizing the full promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We will protect and expand the right of Americans with disabilities to get the accommodations and support they need.” Democratic Party Platform
Democrats value the positive contributions of everyone — parents, children, workers, and entrepreneurs—and among us, there are approximately 57 million people in the United States with disabilities. Since the passage of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), led by many Democrats in Congress, disabled Americans have been able to more fully participate in our communities. We have come a long way since the ADA’s enactment, but there is still more we can do.
The Obama Administration made significant investments in vocational rehabilitation services to help with access to job training, education and placement, and increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are actively working to strip away the civil rights of disabled Americans by weakening enforcement of the ADA, decreasing inclusion in schools for those with disabilities, cutting independent living programs, and reducing job training and workforce accessibility programs.
While Republicans roll back protections for people with disabilities, the Democratic Party is working to expand equal opportunities, increase participation in our workforce, and improve accessibility to independent living for people with disabilities. The right to live in the community is a civil and constitutional right too often denied to Disabled Americans, even though we know that home and community-based services and supports are not only what people want, but are also more cost-effective. That’s why Senate Democrats introduced the Disability Integration Act, a bipartisan bill to ensure that no Disabled American is denied the right and opportunity to live freely and independently in the community. This legislation, when enacted, will give people with disabilities who remain in institutions a chance to experience the same dignity and freedom as every other citizen. Democrats are proud to support this landmark civil rights legislation and support the Disability community working to secure its passage.
Democrats will continue our efforts to defend the Americans with Disabilities Act against attacks intended to undercut the rights of people with disabilities, and we will work to ensure that workers with disabilities are no longer denied the workforce protections available to every other American. We support one fair wage for all workers by ending the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Unfortunately, congressional Republicans haven’t shown any willingness to stand up for the people they’re supposed to represent. In fact, they’re making things worse.
Trump’s budget proposed gutting funding for programs like Medicaid and Social Security that are lifelines for people with disabilities. The Trump administration has made it more difficult for people with disabilities to get the care they need by enabling states to impose burdensome Medicaid work requirements.
The Trump administration rescinded education guidelines that detail the rights of students with disabilities in schools. Republicans in Congress have focused on weakening enforcement of the ADA by removing incentives for businesses to comply, which would potentially limit accessibility to businesses for millions of Americans.
Democrats are proud to partner with Disabled activists to fight back against these attacks and for full integration and independence for Disabled Americans.