The ADA Legacy Project celebrates the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on disability rights, and honors the contributions of individuals with disabilities and their allies who persevered in securing the passage of this landmark civil rights legislation. Georgetown University has compiled a collection of historical documents related to the ADA that date back to the 1980s, the decade preceding the milestone signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. More...
Moments in Disability History 28
The Original: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1988
In her book, "The Disability Pendulum: The First Decade of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Ruth Colker presents the first legislative history of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Colker reports that the first draft of the ADA was the culmination of two important President-appointed commissions: the National Council on the Handicapped (now the National Council on Disability) (National Council) and the Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic (HIV Commission). The HIV Commission found that civil rights legislation was needed to prevent disability discrimination and that such legislation should cover HIV-related discrimination. The importance of protecting people with HIV is found in every major report and speech surrounding passage of the ADA, beginning in 1988.
To learn more about Ruth Colker, go to http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/faculty/professor/ruth-colker/
The National Council issued two reports. Included in the report, Toward Independence (1986), the Council developed a draft of a comprehensive equal opportunity proposal entitled "The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1988." The draft was prepared by the National Council's attorney and research specialist Robert L. Burgdorf, Jr.
To learn more about Robert Burgdorf, go to http://www.law.udc.edu/?RBurgdorf
The National Council believed that this draft represented a significant step toward the introduction and eventual passage of such a statute. The National Council was also confident that the "Americans with Disabilities Act" represented the need for expanded nondiscrimination protections and convinced that enactment of such a statute was key to increased independence for persons with disabilities. The second report, On The Threshold of Independence, included a draft bill and summary, and is available at: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/1988/Jan1988#9a1
In 1988, National Council members persuaded Senator Lowell Weicker, a liberal Republican Senator from Connecticut, the home state of another National Council member, Sandra Parrino, to introduce the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recognizing that any hope of passage depended upon securing Democratic sponsors, Weicker suggested that advocates also approach Tom Harkin, a liberal Democrat from Iowa with definite presidential aspirations, to serve as a co-sponsor. Both Weicker and Harkin had personal reasons to be sympathetic to the legislation. Weicker was the father of a child with Down syndrome; Harkin's brother was deaf.
Senator Weicker introduced S. 2345 in the Senate on April 28, 1988, stating that discrimination based on handicap was "just as intolerable as other types of discrimination that our civil rights forbid." Thirteen Senators signed on as co-sponsors and, before the end of the legislative session, S. 2345 had twenty-seven other additional co-sponsors.
In the House, Representative Tony Coelho from California introduced H.R. 4498, on April 29, 1988. Coelho, himself, was a victim of discrimination because of his epilepsy. Forty-seven co-sponsors agreed to sign on in the House and, before the end of the legislative session, the number of co-sponsors grew to 125.
The text of the ADA was identical in both the Senate and House. Joe Shapiro, in his book, No Pity, reports that the legislation was "a radical 'flat earth' bill." Within 2 years, everything would have to be accessible and people with disabilities would have been allowed to sue for punitive damages if they faced discrimination from business.
(No Pity is the subject of Moments in Disability History 25, a part of the ADA Legacy Project.)
Senator Weicker spoke in favor of the legislation on April 28, 1988 and Representative Silvio Conte of Massachusetts spoke in favor the legislation on the next day, on April 29, 1988. However, both inaccurately claimed the definitions in the bill, including the definition of disability that drew on definitions already contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The bill was divided into the following six sections that were stronger than those contained in the bill that was ultimately enacted in 1990 as the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Section 4 – prohibited discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, transportation or telecommunications;
- Section 5 – prohibited discrimination in access to services or programs;
- Section 6 – prohibited discrimination in housing;
- Section 7 – provided limitations on the duties of accommodation and barrier removal;
- Section 8 – required various entities to promulgate regulations to enfore the ADA; and
- Section 9 – provided rules with respect to enforcement.
A broader summary of the proposed legislation written by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, can be reviewed at: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/100/s2345#summary/libraryofcongress
Senator Robert Dole of Kansas, a sponsor, spoke in favor of the need for such a bill but with reservations:
"I have reservations about many aspects of this bill including the elimination of the undue hardship criteria for reasonable accommodation, clarification on what constitutes a public accommodation and what such public accommodation would be required to do under the retrofitting provisions of this bill, what do we mean by transportation services, and what is the scope of this bill to intrastate transportation systems."
Senators John McCain of Arizona and Donald Riegel, Jr., of Michigan also spoke in favor of the bill but expressed similar reservations. Senator Riegel's concerns were regarding expenses to businesses and local government.
On June 6, 1988, Senator Weicker tied passage of the ADA to recommendations of the Presidential Commission on HIV, thereby linking the ADA as a response to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) crisis."
In her book, Colker reported that enactment of the ADA may be credited, in part, to a disparaging remark made by President Regan about candidate Michael Dukakis who was rumored to have a mental illness. On the floor of the House, Representative Tony Coelho of California expressed exception to the remark. Shortly thereafter, on August 11, 1988, presidential candidate George H. W. Bush gave his support to the ADA."
Representative Major Owens of New York summed up the future passage of the ADA in his supporting comments. He stated that both parties "are in agreement on at least one major item on our agenda for future legislation. While the Democratic convention will endorse this piece of legislation, both candidates are on record for having endorsed it also".
During the congressional hearings of the 100th Congress, the unanimous sentiment among the witnesses was that people with disabilities struggled with unequal opportunities. They confronted not only the challenges of their disabilities, but also the physical barriers that society erects. The September 27, 1988 Joint House and Senate Hearings on the ADA can be reviewed at: http://mn.gov/mnddc/parallels2/one/video14/adaHearing.html
Despite these testimonials, Joe Shapiro stated in his book, No Pity, that "this version of the ADA was a bust. The bill was introduced in the closing days of the 100th Congress to almost universal disregard. Legislators, on their way home for reelection races, ignored it. Ronald Reagan…apparently did not even know of its existence. The press and the public ignored it."
By the time the legislation was introduced in April, the presidential campaign was well underway. The initial consideration of the ADA in the summer and fall of 1988 was cut short by the Presidential campaign.
Quality and the Baldrige Framework
The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities began its quality journey in 1997 using the National Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The Baldrige Framework, a systems approach to improving a business or organization's performance, is based on a set of core values and concepts that represent the beliefs and behaviors found in high performing businesses and organizations.
Since 1998, Bill Harreld, Quality Culture Institute, has shared his experience and expertise, working with the Council on quality improvement and the application of the Baldrige Criteria to the Council's work. This journey has been a learning experience and, since there's always room for improvement, the learning continues. For businesses that want to better serve their customers and improve their business results, this overview of the Baldrige Framework and Criteria can serve as a step in beginning that process.
Honoring Government Innovation
Independence To Inclusion
A TPT Documentary Produced with the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Stigma and stereotypes against people with developmental disabilities have long outlasted Minnesota's state institutions. How will inclusion in schools, the workplace, and the community affect the lives of thousands of Minnesotans with developmental disabilities? (View version with closed captioning)
The Disability Justice Resource Center is an online collection of statutes, regulations, case law, and commentaries intended to help the legal community better understand the many complex justice related issues for people with disabilities, particularly individuals with developmental disabilities.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest chapter, announced the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional nominees and the TPT documentary, Independence to Inclusion, is nominated under "Documentaries – Cultural." http://midwestemmys.org/
The Convergence of Disability Law and Policy: Core Concepts, Ethical Communities, and the Notion of Dignity
Interview with Rud Turnbull
Produced by Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
In writing a model law, in implementing the law and regulations, in discussing and explaining the intended effect and the actual effect of statutes, in confronting law and policy, in designing and delivering programs and services, there are people involved, there are lives that are affected. So the very first thing that needs to be talked about is personhood.
Throughout Rud Turnbull's teachings and writings about the 18 core concepts of disability policy, and as those concepts relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act, IDEA and its predecessors, assistive technology, family support, and aversive therapies, he speaks about relationships – those that are created and those that are challenged when people are forced to confront each other.
In all of his research on United State Supreme Court decisions and federal laws, Rud Turnbull finds one ethical principle that is interwoven throughout those decisions and statutes – the notion of dignity.
Bio: Rud Turnbull, Distinguished Professor in Special Education and Courtesy Professor of Law, University of Kansas, is the Co-founder and Co-director of the Beach Center on Disability. He has authored more than 300 peer reviewed books, articles, chapters, and monographs. He has served as an officer of nearly all major national disability organizations, including AIDD, The Arc, and TASH; as well as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Law, and Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
Regular Lives for Families with Children with Disabilities
Interview with Kathie Snow
Kathie Snow is an author, public speaker, trainer, and consultant. Her interest in disability issues was born in 1987 with the birth of her son, Benjamin, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at four months. Before that, she had no knowledge or experience in the disability field. Like most parents, she was bewildered and somewhat frightened; and, like most parents, she eagerly entered the world of disability services and interventions. She listened to what doctors recommended, she went along with all of the therapies.
She was convinced that if some was good, then more was better. Home became a therapy clinic. The professionals told her what a great mom she was (presumably because she was doing what they told her to do!!!)... but then, when she started saying "no" to "more therapy," she became a non-compliant parent.
The third edition of Kathie's book, Disability is Natural, Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities, has just recently been released.
The Top Questions Asked About Inclusive Education
Dr. Patrick Schwarz
Dr. Patrick Schwarz, Creative Culture Consulting LLC., is a dynamic and engaging motivational speaker and leader in Inclusive Education, Special Education, General Education, Educational Leadership and Human Services. Patrick is a professor at National-Louis University in Chicago; and has authored several books with Paula Kluth - From Disability to Possibility, You're Welcome, Just Give Him the Whale, and Pedro's Whale. His newest book is From Possibility to Success.
The video was recorded on June 5, 2013.
Positive Behavioral Supports
The Jensen settlement agreement called for a review of best practices related to positive support strategies. A Positive Behavioral Supports section has been created, dedicated to the class members of the Jensen Settlement Agreement.
The work of the Rule 40 committee began with a review paper of all state rules and regulations governing aversive procedures written by Michael Mayer. On February 6, 2013, Michael Mayer visited the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities and was interviewed.
Mike Mayer is a senior partner of Community Resource Alliance. He is also the clinical director of the ACT Process in the state of Illinois.
The History and Evolution of Behavioral Approaches and Positive Behavioral Interventions
Derrick Dufresne is the founder and a Senior Partner of Community Resource Associates, Inc. (CRA), a training and management consulting firm that is dedicated to promoting full community inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Video interview conducted February 1, 2012
Respect and Dignity Practices Statement (June 20, 2013) is a result of the Jensen Settlement Agreement and the work of the Rule 40 Advisory Committee to modernize Rule 40 around best practices regarding positive behavioral supports.
The article, Human Services Restraint: Its Past and Future, authored by David Ferleger, traces this history and discusses how the past has influenced contemporary practices.
Dr. Herbert Lovett
Dr. Herbert Lovett promoted inclusive supports and equal access in the areas of education, employment, housing, and human rights for children and adults with disabilities. This interview was conducted with Larry Ringer, Minnesota Disability Law Center, in 1987.
"Telling Your Story"
App Available Now for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Amazon Kindle Fire
Compose and practice your personal story to present to elected public officials or other policymakers. Learn the best ways to introduce yourself and talk about your issue, record and practice your story, and include a photo if you would like.
Important Note: The recent Apple update to iOS 8 has caused crashing issues in the iPhone and iPad version of the apps. If you have these apps installed and have updated your device to iOS 8, we are aware of the issues and will be issuing an update soon. Users of iOS 7 and earlier may continue to use the app with no problems. A separate notice will be issued when the iOS 8 compatible update is available at the iTunes App Store.
Autism 5-Point Scale EP App Receives Digital Government Achievement Award
The Autism 5-Point Scale EP app, designed and developed as an emergency planning and preparedness tool for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, has received a Digital Government Achievement Award (DGAA), in the Government-to-citizen State Government category. This app can help facilitate communications and interactions between individuals with ASD and first responders in a broad range of emergency situations.
We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Autism Society of Minnesota for their leadership with the Emergency Planning and Preparedness Project that included the development of this app.
The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities has been named a 2012 Tekne Award finalist by the Minnesota High Tech Association for the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app. The finalist nomination is in the Mobile & Communication Technologies Award category that recognizes innovation in mobile applications and electronic communications.
The Jobs Challenge for People With Disabilities
Competitive wages, direct employment, in Minnesota. Individuals with developmental disabilities are being directly employed in a broad range of business fields and a wide range of positions in both public and private sectors. In all instances, the experiences of employees and employers have been overwhelmingly positive – employees are in jobs of their choosing with full benefits; and the businesses are thriving, recognizing the contributions that a truly diversified workforce can bring to their customers.
Ed Roberts, Activist
Ed Roberts was a pioneering leader of the disability rights movement. Ed declared that people with disabilities are fully human; that they have a right and a responsibility to take control of their own lives, to help build a new culture in which they and all people participate fully in the leadership, the labor, and the fruits of society. Ed Roberts Day was Monday, January 23, 2012.
Professor John McKnight: Community Building
Slideshow: There are many approaches to community organizing. The heart and soul of John McKnight's approach are all of the people who live in a community, and the wealth of their combined gifts, abilities, and skills that create a welcoming and wholly inclusive environment.
Capacity Building Beyond Community Services
Anyone interested in successfully including people on the margins into neighborhood and community life needs to listen to John McKnight and study asset based community development. John is a community organizer, an academic and a brilliant story-teller...
A collection of John McKnight's papers, where he further explains the building blocks and assets that make for an inclusive community, can be found at John McKnight Resources and Documents.
1962/2012 Minnesota Survey of Attitudes Regarding Developmental Disabilities
Perceptions, awareness, beliefs, and attitudes about people with developmental disabilities have changed substantially in the past 50 years. MarketResponse International has just completed a survey of the general population in Minnesota that shows these marked shifts.
The Evolution of the Quality of Care in Developmental Disabilities
Jim Conroy is the founder and President of the Center for Outcome Analysis, Inc., a non-profit firm that is devoted to evaluation, research, training, and policy analysis on quality of life issues in the developmental disabilities field. The Center is founded on the principle that service agencies should be guided by measurable quality of life outcomes regarding the services and supports received by individuals with developmental disabilities.
The METO Lawsuit and Jensen Settlement Agreement
At the December 1, 2011 Fairness Hearing before United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank, the METO Settlement Agreement was accepted. Judge Frank issued the official Order on December 5, 2011. In this first videotaped interview with Shamus O'Meara, counsel for the Plaintiffs in the METO class action lawsuit, he talks about his decision to take the case, the legal issues involved, and some of the critical aspects of the Settlement Agreement, including the focus on staff training around person centered planning, and the establishment of both an Olmstead Committee and Rule 40 Committee.
Following the Fairness Hearing, Shamus O'Meara was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). A related article was featured on MPR's "All Things Considered" on December 1, 2011.
Interviews about the METO Lawsuit and Agreement were conducted with Shamus O'Meara, Counsel for the Plaintiff; Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota; Pamela Hoopes, Minnesota Disability Law Center; Roberta Opheim, Ombudsman Office for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and Self Advocates.
Ethical Issues, End of Life Conversations and Developmental Disabilities
Honoring Choices is a collection of stories by ordinary people about end of life conversations with family and friends, sharing perspectives from personal and professional lives.
The Council thanks Bill Hanley and Pam Palan for inviting our participation in this important initiative. Please note: These stories are not closed captioned.
Congratulations to Twin Cities Public Television, recipients of the 2012 "Making a Difference" Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Upper Midwest Chapter for Honoring Choices Minnesota, a documentary about end of life conversations. The documentary was produced in partnership with the Twin Cities Medical Society. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities worked with TPT in this public education effort and participated in 54 video stories that shared the perspectives of individuals with developmental disabilities, family members, and allies.
Thinking Ahead: Thank you to the California Department of Developmental Services for creating resource materials in plain language that can be used with self advocates to discuss end of life issues. This guide can be useful in assuring that self advocates express preferences about end of life decisions. Please note: this is not a legal document.
The Evolution of Disability Rights Litigation (and some stories)
David Ferleger, J.D. of Philadelphia, PA, has a national law and consulting practice, specializing in public interest, civil rights and disability law. He has litigated landmark disability cases, argued five times before the Supreme Court of the United States, assisted the courts, represented individuals and government agencies, taught law school, and has written, lectured and consulted nationally.
Institutions to Independence
In addition to the documentary, the Minnesota Governor's Council worked with TPT to create "Know Your Rights", an Illustrated Essay by David Gillette regarding the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities.
Meet the Future Face of Employment
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Technology Fields
Meet the Future Face of Employment, offers a broad range of information and resources to help anyone interested in supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder to be employed in technology fields.
News and Information
Partners in Policymaking® Class 33 – A brochure for Partners Class 33 is now available, and both online and print versions of the application can be accessed at http://mngts.org/partnersinpolicymaking/applying.php. The impact of Partners is felt throughout an ever increasing national and international network of Partners graduates, working together to influence positive public policy changes and build on the concepts of inclusion and full integration in the community. (4/21/15)
Annual Minnesota Autism Conference: The Autism Society of Minnesota will hold its 20th annual conference from April 29 to May 2, 2015 at the Minneapolis Park Place Hotel. Breakout sessions covering a broad range of topics, exhibits, and a bookstore with book signings by local authors will be featured. More information about the conference and registration is available at http://www.ausm.org/annual-conference.html (4/2/15)
FFY 2015 Training Conferences Cosponsorship Funds Awarded: Eleven Minnesota organizations were recently awarded cosponsorship funds for training conferences. The conferences provide opportunities for participants to learn about best practices, and develop or strengthen their personal leadership skills. The expectation is that these training experiences will result in increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families. (2/24/15)
The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) has issued its 2014 Annual Report. (2/3/15)
Karen Loven is the first self advocate in the United States to serve as a faculty member for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. At The Arc Minnesota 2014 Awards Celebration on Saturday, November 15, 2014, Karen received the Bill Sackter Citizenship Award. In co-presentations with United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank, Karen quickly does away with stereotypes that continue to surround individuals with developmental disabilities – changing perceptions, thinking, and attitudes. (11/18/2014)
Congratulations to the Ambassadors for Respect, recipients of The Arc Minnesota Community Innovator Award, for the Anti-bullying Program they have carried out with 4th grade elementary school students in the North St. Paul and While Bear Lake school districts. (11/18/2014)
Minnesota Special Education Experience Study 2014
In followup to the K-12 Education Study for Students with Developmental Disabilities that MarketResponse International conducted in 2013, and based on the insights gained from that study, the Minnesota Special Education Experience Study was conducted in 2014. This study was done in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education, Special Education Division. The purpose of this recent study was to obtain benchmark measures of overall quality and satisfaction levels of the special education experience from the perspective of parents and the students themselves. The results show satisfaction levels by grade level and geographic location, quality drivers of the education experience, and awareness of and attitudes about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. (9/5/2014)
*PDF version contains accessible text that can be accessed through the "Read Aloud" feature in Adobe Reader
On January 28, 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order creating a 10 member Governor appointed Sub-Cabinet to "promptly develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan" that reflects the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and is consistent with the Olmstead decision that interpreted Title II of the ADA. Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon will chair the Sub-Cabinet. (1/29/13)