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History >> Civil Rights for Kids

Civil Rights

Disability Rights Movement

There are people all over the world with disabilities. Some people are born with disabilities while others may become disabled through a disease, a wound in battle, or an accident. The disability rights movement is an effort to protect the civil rights of the disabled and to make sure that people with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities.
Handicap Sign
International Symbol of Access
from the Federal Highway Administration


What does the movement try to achieve?

In order to achieve equal opportunities for the disabled, the movement has tried to achieve certain standards in society. Some of the main goals include safety, equal employment and housing opportunities, education, accessibility, and protection from abuse and neglect.

History of Disability Rights in the United States

The idea that the disabled should have equal rights and opportunities first came to the forefront of the United States with the return of many disabled veterans from World War II. Since then, there has been an active effort to pass laws that help the disabled. Here are three of the major laws passed to protect the disabled in the last 50 years.
Who is considered disabled?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." It goes on to describe some "life activities" as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, walking, lifting, speaking, reading, thinking, working, communicating, etc. A person is not considered disabled if the condition can be corrected. For example, if a person's vision can be corrected by wearing glasses they are not considered disabled due to their poor vision.

Famous Disabled People

Disabled people have contributed greatly to our society. They are heroes, leaders, scientists, entertainers, athletes, and more. Here are a few famous disabled people.
Activities To learn more about Civil Rights:

Movements Major Events
Civil Rights Leaders

Overview Works Cited

History >> Civil Rights for Kids





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