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The new year brings challenges for people with disabilities

pizzurosal073111_optBY SALVATORE PIZZURO
COMMENTARY

With the ringing in of the New Year, 2012 will pose many challenges for people with disabilities. Everyday life functioning events that are taken for granted by the non-disabled population represent continued struggles for people with special needs. Housing, employment, appropriate health care, and access to transportation remain the challenging issues that dictate the quality of life for such individuals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and numerous Supreme Court decisions have strengthened the civil rights of people with disabilities under the law. Nevertheless, the struggle continues.

The White House has addressed the needs of people with disabilities in its 2012 budget; In fact the White House has listed priorities that are designed to:

“Increase Funding for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

Reduce Social Security Claims Backlog

Expand Disability Research.

Strengthen Independent Living.

Assist Programs for Youth with Disabilities

Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Enforcement.

Provide Housing for Persons with Disabilities.

Expand Research into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Help Families Care for Aging and Relatives with Disabilities

Support for Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce

Expand Passenger Rail Options."

According to the United States Government, someone with a disability is "Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment."

Such physical or mental disabilities include impairments to hearing, mobility and visual impairments that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including walking, talking, hearing, seeing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, and caring for oneself.



 

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