Key Moments in Disability Advocacy

Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Act of 1970

Amended Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Facilities Construction Act of 1963 and required states to establish a State Planning and Advisory Council.

TCDD is Established

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, originally titled the Texas Governor’s Planning and Advisory Council on Developmental Disabilities, is established by the governor’s executive order.

Section 504 Prohibits Discrimination

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is passed, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in federally funded public spaces and programs.

ADA is Signed into Legislation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is signed into legislation, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act was amended to protect people with disabilities from housing discrimination, required modifications to existing buildings and outlined accessibility for newly constructed housing units. Also expanded the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include persons with disabilities.

Workforce Investment Act of 1998

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was created to integrate various federal education, training and employment services for job seekers and employers.

Help America Vote

The Help America Vote Act passes, requiring all election polling locations to have voting systems accessible to people with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was amended and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This permanently authorized a grant program that provides federal funding to states to offer a "free, appropriate public education" to all children with disabilities in the "least restrictive environment."

Achieving Better Life Experience Act (ABLE)

ABLE improved financial stability and employment options for people with disabilities by authorizing tax-advantaged savings accounts for youth and adults with disabilities.

Texas Puts Supported Decision-Making in Law

Texas becomes the first state to put supported decision-making in law as an alternative to guardianship.


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