The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Promoting Independence, Productivity, Self-Determination, Integration and Inclusion
MNDisability.gov
The ADA Legacy Project

Moments in Disability History 11

"Civil Rights: We're Going To Win This One"

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 helped to pave the way for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 granted many rights to people with disabilities that were similar to the rights granted other minority groups in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section 504 is widely recognized as the first civil-rights statute for persons with disabilities, however, its passage and implementation did not happen without a struggle. More than three years later, no implementing rules had been issued, prompting a nationwide "Sign 504" campaign and demonstration by people with disabilities. Another civil rights movement was underway.

Hubert Humphrey
Senator Hubert H. Humphrey

The late United States Senator Hubert H. Humphrey worked tirelessly to secure passage of legislation that included disability anti-discrimination rights. In 1971, two years before Section 504 was enacted, he attempted to push through such language as an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act but was encouraged by his colleagues to include in the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 draft language. http://37616344.nhd.weebly.com/section-504.html

Judy Heumann
Judy Heumann

Protester Judy Heumann gave tearful testimony before a congressional hearing triggered by the sit-in. Listen to an excerpt of Heumann's testimony.

Kitty Cone
Kitty Cone

504 demonstration organizer Kitty Cone said that as the sit-in neared two weeks, pressure grew on people to give up. Listen to a news report describing the conditions at the sit-in.

Note: Audio is hosted on the NPR.org Web site and is in Real Media Audio format. Real Player is a free download and is required to play this particular audio.

Short History of the 504 Sit in by Kitty Cone:
http://www.dredf.org/504site/histover.html

504
Ed Roberts

Video: The Power of 504 (Excerpt)
http://mn.gov/mnddc/ed-roberts/power-of-504-excerpt.html

Video: Ed Roberts testifying at Section 504 hearings
http://mn.gov/mnddc/parallels/six/6c/9.html

Reflections on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
http://www.forcivilminds.org/2011/12/05/reflections-on-the-rehabilitation-act-of-1973/

Signing the Section 504 Rules: More to the Story by David Pfeiffer.
http://www.ragged-edge-mag.com/0102/0102ft6.html

November 1, 2013

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.