ADA Has Been Around for Only 30 Years!!! There Is MUCH MORE TO DO!

Back of tee shirt which reads, Disability Rights are Civil RightsThe Americans with Disabilities Act ( was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Its overall purpose is to make American Society more accessible to people with disabilities. In 2008, the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) was passed. Its purpose is to broaden the definition of disability, which had been narrowed by U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Read a brief overview of the Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act.

People with disabilities have a significant stake in government programs. For many children and adults with disabilities, their ability to get an education, earn a living and live independently in the community is dictated by the availability of services and supports, many of which come only from the federal government.

Legislative Matters That Are Important to SHOWAbility, Inc.

President Signs Job Training Bill

Two disability advocates talking together at SHOWAbility’s Community Meet & Greet at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bill that updates the U.S. job training and employment system, including the vocational rehabilitation (VR) program and other employment services for people with disabilities. President Obama said the bipartisan legislation will help ensure every American has skills to fill open jobs and made special note about new initiatives included in the legislation “for Americans with disabilities who want to live and work independently.”

The legislation was overwhelmingly approved in the United States House of Representatives (415-6) and the United States Senate (95-3).

Learn more about vocational rehabilitation.

Affordable Care Act

Congress must maintain the policies within the Affordable Care Act ( that ensure all people with disabilities have access to comprehensive, affordable health care that meets their individual needs.

Child Care Development Block Grant

Congress must increase funding for child care services as well as support additional training and technical assistance to increase the supply of child care services for children with disabilities.

Learn more about the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) & Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).

State Children’s Health Insurance Program

Congress must continue and improve health services under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Congress must reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so that all students, including students with disabilities, can learn and thrive in school and be career and college ready. Students with disabilities must have their academic progress measured with appropriate assessment tools.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Congress must maintain the right to a free, appropriate, public education for students with disabilities and expand early education services to young children with disabilities and developmental delays through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act

Congress must adopt legislation to reduce the incidence of restraint and seclusion of students and to establish minimum student safety standards.

Deficit Reduction Efforts

Congress must reduce the deficit through means that do not restrict the ability of people with disabilities to access essential services and supports.

To learn more, read this PDF Deficit Reduction: What Disability Advocates Need to Know from The Arc (

Federal Funding for Programs Serving People with Disabilities

Congress must adopt budget and appropriations legislation that addresses the unmet needs of people with disabilities. Learn more about currently available federal disability services.

Medicaid and Long-Term Services and Supports

SHOWAbility Board Chair Twanda Black smiles in photo with two audience members with disabilities.Congress must maintain the Medicaid ( program, including the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment program, and expand outreach services so that all eligible individuals are enrolled. In addition, efforts must be undertaken to strengthen the nation’s system of long-term services and supports through strengthening both Medicaid and alternative financing mechanisms for these services.

Learn about eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid.

Read more about Social Security and Medicaid.

Learn more about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability & Medicaid coverage.


Congress must eliminate the cap on outpatient occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services for Medicare beneficiaries. Congress must also extend Medicare coverage for adult day services and other home and community-based services.

Read more about current Medicare coverage.

Social Security

Congress must protect the integrity and solvency of Social Security programs, including the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

Older Americans Act

Congress must reauthorize the Older Americans Act to expand supportive services for the aging population, enhance the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), and to increase partnerships between the aging network and community-based services providers.


Congress must continue to improve transportation policy to increase the mobility of people with disabilities and older adults.

To learn more, read this PDF Equity in Transportation for People with Disabilities.

United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Veterans/Wounded Warriors

Congress must increase employment and other support services for veterans through community-based partnership. In addition, Congress must expand supports to caregivers of veterans.

Learn more about services available for disabled veterans.

Learn more about services available for caregivers of disabled veterans.

Rehabilitation Act

Congress must improve vocational rehabilitation services by enhancing transition services for youth with disabilities, increasing long-term employment supports for adults with disabilities, refining performance management and expanding partnerships for the vocational rehabilitation system.

Learn more about the Rehabilitation Act.

Workforce Investment Act

Congress must increase physical and programmatic accessibility within the workforce investment system through Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization.

Organizations with Values Aligned with SHOWAbility, Inc.

National Organization on Disability (NOD)

Founded in 1982, the National Organization on Disability  is working to increase employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.


Diversability is a community of people with disabilities and their allies, who believe that disability is diversity and that disability is diverse.

The Arc

The Arc is a national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They work to support inclusion and participation in communities.

Disability in Media


As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family's fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents. Read more at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

Watch on Apple TV+.

Crip Camp

Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement. Read more at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

Watch on Netlfix.

How to Be an Ally