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. See Tuesdays with Liz edition on the ADA. 


Developmental Disabilities Act
The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) is the highest priority in AUCD's public policy work. AUCD actively engages in the reauthorization of the DD Act and the administration of its programs through the Administration on Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). The law is authorized every four years and regulations and policy guidelines are developed based on the statute. The DD Act provides authorization for the 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities which comprise the base of the AUCD Network. See Tuesdays with Liz edition on the DD Act.


Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act protects all Americans by prohibiting insurers in both the group and individual health insurance market from

  • "requesting or requiring" genetic testing of an individual or his family, or
  • using genetic information to determine eligibility or establish premiums;

and by prohibiting employers, including employment agencies and labor organizations, from

  • "requesting or requiring" genetic testing of an individual or his family, or
  • using genetic information to make hiring or promotional decisions, or when determining eligibility for training programs.


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.


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). Learn more about the Disability Treaty.


Other Topics for 116th Congress

Disability Integration Act

Institutions still get in the way of freedom for disabled people and older Americans. The Disability Integration Act would tell states that they can't get in the way of disabled peoples' right to freedom by not giving Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in the community. The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a bill that makes sure that people with disabilities have a right to live and get services in their own homes. The Disability Integration Act (S. 117, H.R. 555) was introduced in the House and the Senate by both Republicans and Democrats together. More information about the DIA here.

Mental Health & Gun Violence

Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights