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that individual should be placed back into the community (NASHIA, 2003).

Other Legislative Acts

Over the past several decades, Congress has passed a number of acts to protect the rights of disabled citizens. If at any time you feel your loved one is being treated unfairly, be sure to contact a governmental agency, attorney, or go online to find out more about his rights. Listed below are brief descriptions of some relevant acts, along with the year they were passed or amended.

The Fair Housing Act (1968)—prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VIII was amended in 1988 to include individuals with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act (1973) —requires vocational rehabilitation agencies to develop an “individualized written rehabilitation program” for each individual receiving services. Section 504 of the Act protects disabled individuals from discrimination in federally assisted programs and activities. Sections 501 and 503 protect the disabled from employment discrimination by federal agencies or federal contractors.

The Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act (1986)— ensures SSI benefits and Medicaid coverage for disabled individuals whose income exceeds “substantial gainful activity” levels.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990)—prohibits discrimination in employment (for employers of 15 employees or more), public services, public accommodations and services that are operated by private entities, and telecommunications. State and local governments are covered regardless of size.

The Rehabilitation Act Amendments (1992)—recognizes that disabled individuals are capable of making informed decisions, are competent, have many abilities, and want to participate in normal routines. Title I presumes that individuals with disabilities, including those with severe disabilities, are capable of engaging in gainful employment. Title VII establishes standards for independent living.


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