A Brief History Of The Disability Rights Movement

In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing a brief history of the disability rights movement. Here at New Tech Mobility, we’re proud to offer individuals with mobility issues a modern mobility chair option. Learn more about the WHILL chair, schedule a test drive across Arizona and Colorado, and continue reading to learn more about disability rights!

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Disability Rights Movement

The disability rights movement is exactly what it sounds like — a global movement that works to secure equal opportunities and rights for all people with disabilities. Disability rights activists have fought for wide ranging rights, from concrete changes like IEPs in schools to curb cuts to cultural change such as freedom from discrimination.

Education of All Handicapped Children Act (1975)

This law guarantees children with disabilities the right to a public education, and was passed due to the efforts and protests of disability rights activists. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA (1990), is a modification of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and expands support and accommodations for students with disabilities. It requires that students be educated in the least restrictive environment necessary to meet their needs, which means that students who use mobility chairs like the WHILL chair from New Tech Mobility are given the resources they need to achieve their learning goals.

504 Sit-Ins (1977)

After that historic sit-in by the Greensboro four in 1960, sit-ins spread across the country, and in 1977 disability rights activists staged their own sit-ins across the country. These sit-ins protested the enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973, and provided the first federal civil rights protection for people with disabilities.

Section 504 was based on language of previous civil rights laws and required that disabled people could not be discriminated against or denied benefits under any programs receiving federal financial assistance. On April 5, 1977, disability rights activists staged sit-ins at Department of Health, Education and Welfare buildings in cities across the country demanding that section 504 be enforced.

Americans With Disabilities Act (1990)

The 504 sit-ins helped pave the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, the disability movement’s biggest legislative achievement. The ADA is the most comprehensive and important piece of disability rights legislation, and it prohibits discrimination based on disabilty and requires employers to provide reasonable accomodations to employees with disabilities and imposes accessibility requirments in public spaces.

ADA Amendments Act (2008)

The ADA Amendments Act broadened the legal definition of disability to include a greater number of people. The act led to broader coverage of employees with disabilities. Since the ADA was written into law, vast improvements, like accessibility for mobility chairs like the WHILL chair, have occured. While disparities still remain, there is a greater public understanding and legal coverage for Americans with disabilities.

Contemporary Disability Rights Movement

In the past few decades, the disability rights movement has taken shape and gained power, alongside other civil rights movements, like movements fighting against basis based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Disability rights are frequently overlooked as a civil rights issue, but many disability rights activists argue that one of the things that makes this movement so powerful is that the people who make up this movement are every gender, color, class, and age. And because the disability rights movement is based on acceptance of differences, it has forged a powerful coalition of people with disabilities, their families, and friends.

New Tech Mobility Scottsdale

Our Scottsdale-based mobility chair company is proud to support disability rights activists across the country and across the world. We choose to sell the WHILL chair because we want people with mobility issues to find the mobility chair that fits their needs! Browse the features of the WHILL Chair models, discover the services we offer, including fitting and training, and when you’re ready, get in touch with New Tech Mobility today and schedule a test drive!