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Edward M. Kennedy - Champion of Disability Civil Rights in Memoriam - September 4, 2009

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This video was produced by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Advocating for disability civil rights since 1979. It is an excellent summary of the Senator's influence in the advancement of disability civil rights and the creation of the ADA.

That legislation culminated years of civil rights work to expand the rights of people with disabilities to employment, appropriate housing and care, voting, air travel and protection from crimes. Kennedy was an original co-sponsor of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). He also helped to craft government definitions for terms like “developmental disability” and change the terminology from “handicapped” to “disability.”

“His legacy will be felt for generations to come, as millions of Americans with disabilities and our families recommit ourselves to his vision of equality and full citizenship for all people,” said Andrew Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. [Source: Disability Scoop]

Tags: News of the Week Newsletter September 2009