Civil Rights


AUCD works towards equal civil rights and protections for people with disabilities and for enforcement of federal civil rights laws. 

Click below or at left to learn more about the civil rights issues AUCD follows. Visit AUCD's Action Center and click on "Current Legislation" to see the the latest bills related to civil rights. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 to "provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities." The ADA broadened protections and promoted the inclusion, integration and empowerment of Americans with disabilities. In 2008, Congress enacted the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), reaffirming its commitment to protecting citizens with disabilities against discrimination and ensuring them access to opportunity.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act protects all Americans from discrimination based on their genetic information with regard to employment and health insurance.

Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies or receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Section 504 forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services. It defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (also an Education issue)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law ensures services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

International Civil Rights
AUCD advocates for the protection of equal rights of children and adults with disabilities in all parts of the world, through international measures, including ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 





Harkin Legislation Will Limit Harmful Practices toward Students with Disabilities

Senator Harkin Draws Attention to Problem of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools and Introduces Bill to Limit Use

Today, Senator Harkin unveiled a new report on the harmful use of restraint & seclusion in schools and introduced legislation to limit these practices.



AUCD Thanks Senator Harkin for Introducing Keeping All Students Safe Act

AUCD applauds Senator Harkin for his leadership in protecting the safety of children in schools.

pdf File AUCD Letter to Harkin Keeping Students Safe.pdf [download]


CRPD Hearing Dates Are Set (Updated). The Time for Action is NOW!

Hearings have been set for the CRPD in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Now is the time for action! Learn what you can do to support the CRPD.



7 Reasons You Are Absolutely Required to Educate Policymakers

Need some inspiration? Read our 7 reasons why you must educate policymakers.





Fact Sheet on Current State-Level Protections from Restraint & Seclusion

This fact sheet shows up-to-date information on the limited state-level protections from restraint & seclusion for schoolchildren.

pdf File R-S Fact Sheet Feb 2014.pdf [download]


Neglected and Abused Abroad: A Look at the Severe Mistreatment of Individuals with Disabilities Around the World and How the US Can Help

A Report from the CCD International Task Force

With the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities potentially before the Senate this fall, the CCD International Task Force developed this report on the conditions faced by people with disabilities around the world and why the US must ratify the Convention.



Olmstead: Community Integration for Everyone

To commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Olmstead decision, the Department of Justice launched a new section of its ADA website providing information and resources about the decision and its enforcement. Users can visit the site to find briefs filed by the Department, as well as other relevant materials. The website provides easy access to an extensive collection of ADA technical assistance materials and settlement agreements, as well as information about enforcement, mediation, technical assistance and certification activities and links to other sites with ADA information.





Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Intervention, and Seclusion Urges FDA to Ban Electric Shock

AUCD signed on to this letter from the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Intervention, and Seclusion (APRAIS) responding to a Food and Drug Administration request for comments regarding the use of electric shock devices for behavioral modification. The coalition urged the FDA to ban the use of these devices.

pdf File APRAIS FDA Letter 4-11-14.pdf [download]


AUCD Joins Disability Community in Supporting Chai Feldblum for Second Term as EEOC Commissioner

AUCD joined many other major disability organizations in signing on to this letter supporting Chai Feldblum's nomination for a second term on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

pdf File Support Letter Chai Feldblum EEOC.pdf [download]


CCD Sign-on Letter: Rosa's Law (S. 2871)

Final letter sent to leaders from the House of Representatives urging the House to vote for passage of Rosa's Law.
pdf File CCD Letter of Support for Rosa's Law 9-22-10.pdf [download]