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Advocacy & Awareness
Disability advocates concerned with disability rights were relieved to see the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law in July 1990.  At the signing when President Bush said, ‘Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down’ many Americans were still ignorant about disability awareness and had no idea the impact the law would have.  Of course, professionals like those working in mental health advocacy, or teachers involved in special education advocacy knew the importance of the new disability law.  They also knew the walls of exclusion would not “come tumbling down” with the stroke of a pen.

Disabilities advocacy groups realized the law would be a powerful tool for inclusion but to achieve its full effect everyone had to understand the human side of the law and advocacy education through disabilities awareness would be necessary.  Common respect, courtesy and eliminating the awkwardness people experienced interacting with a person who has a disability would be the goal.  Although the law did not mandate disability sensitivity training, people with a disability knew the importance of disability etiquette.  They understood that the need was great and that teaching disability awareness was not going to be an easy task.  Hence, awareness training became the mission for the next two decades for many professionals and advocates alike.

Soon there were disability awareness resources being offered by disability advocacy groups from coast to coast.  Initially there were disability awareness videos that were more general relating to both disability advocate teaching and disability sensitivity training.  Soon after, specialty subjects such as developmental disability awareness, disability awareness for children, learning disability awareness, deafness awareness, and special needs awareness became more focused within these programs.

Twenty years after the signing, advocacy for people with disabilities has not only the Americans with Disabilities Act as its foundation, but a tremendous arsenal of other tools as well.  These include videos, pamphlets, seminars, books, and web sites that facilitate disability advocacy training and beyond.  The law and all of the subsequent training materials teach two of the basic needs of each of us: courtesy and respect.

Powerful suggestions for people who care about and support someone with a disability.

Takes you inside the homes and lives of six parents who have various types of developmental disabilities. Find out what helps them succeed and which factors seem to contribute to the loss of their child!

From ancient times to telethons to today's burgeoning disability movement, this traces the often-over-looked history of people with disabilities.


An excellent orientation to the human side of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Documents the Nazi Regime horror with respect to its treatment of people with disabilities.

Traces the historical origins of the social stereotypes and exclusionary practices toward people with disabilities.

Pits teamwork and technology against the unpredictable forces of nature.

Shows common examples of how to recognize and respond to requests for job accommodations in familiar job settings.

Gives practical, step-by-step guidelines for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

A collection of puzzles, questions, quizzes, and case studies on the ADA and accessible information technology. Includes CD-ROM with complete book in PDF format.

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