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Remembering 'The Americans with Disabilities Act' and the Movement that Generated It


Remembering 'The Americans with Disabilities Act' and the Movement that Generated It

Felicia Kornbluh

Many Americans were surprised that some of the most militant responses to the proposed Republican health care plan came from disability activists – who staged a “die-in” outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in late June that resulted in at least one person being removed from her wheelchair as she was arrested. But we shouldn’t be surprised: the disability rights movement has for decades employed a battery of tactics, including mass protest and civil disobedience.


Excellent article. Thank you very much to CD.


SSDI is not limited to “disabilities they develop in the course of doing their jobs” or, to the best of my knowledge, to “covered occupations.” Pretty sure everyone who has a W2 makes a SSDI payment every paycheck. It does require a certain number of years working and paying in.


The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD.

While many people don’t distinguish between SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), they are two completely different governmental programs. While both programs are overseen and managed by the Social Security Administration, and medical eligibility for disability is determined in the same manner for both programs, there are distinct differences between the two.


Yes, a really informative piece, thanks Prof. Kornbluh. A basic history lesson on ADA, what it did and did not cover, in terms of rights for disabled people. What remains to fight for, is what all Americans need: healthcare and income security, decently paid jobs if they can work, and basic, non-poverty income if they cannot. We forget what fighters/advocates for disability, LGBTQ rights, and AIDS activists have brought to us, in terms of energy, strategy and outrageousness, and what their commitments have achieved, and can still achieve. Combine these groups with the anti-war, anti-racist, climate justice, and women’s rights folks, and we would have a formidable majority of a movement.


ADA of 1990. I be loving my service animal and all our travels on public transportation. Expand Amtrak with more designated and high speed rails. The U.S. Inc… Can catchup to the modern world.:earth_africa: