Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What I Learned Today

Each Wednesday I get up extra early, get dressed (as opposed to stay in pajamas and drive carpool or take care of Sophie) and put on make-up, grab my giant white plastic binder and attend a day of LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) where I am a Fellow in training. Each Wednesday, I hope to highlight something particularly interesting that I've learned.

What I learned today:

The Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964, as we all know was originally based on race, but the heart of the Civil Rights Act is Title II which also pertains to people with disabilities. Title II:

1. prohibits discrimination of individuals using public accommodations, such as hotels and lunch counters.

The Act provides a broad framework against which other marginalized and disenfranchised groups advocate for equal access and treatment. (Women and  more recently, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population, have utilized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to frame their arguments to remedy violations of their rights to equal treatment.)

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not specifically protect women, LGBT individuals, nor individuals with disabilities.

Examples of the Civil Rights Laws and Judgements applied to people with disabilities:

1. Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
2. Separate is NOT equal
3. The impetus for Education for All Handicapped Children Act (IDEA) -- inclusion/least protective environment is based on that law.

Next time you hear someone slander the Civil Rights Act of 1964, plug up your ears and start humming.


  1. Thank you, Elizabeth.
    Boy. It would be amazing to witness me plugging my ears and humming in the face of the slander that is passed around as opinion, etc. in conversation. Usually I go to bat.
    You are going to be an awesome Fellow.

  2. You just verified something I've been wondering about regarding classifying and declassifying kids with special needs. Thanks.

    Do you really hear folks slander the Civil Rights Act? Based on your first comment, I guess you do.

    Ah, the privilege of being white in America.


  3. Johnson actually was a pretty amazing and bizarre president. That act had (and still has) incredible implications ... glad you posted this.

  4. Michelle: Rand Paul, in numerous conversations, debated the need for a federal Civil Rights Act.

  5. I want to learn with you! Thanks!

  6. Elizabeth, can you imagine the world the Rand Pauls would create if allowed?

  7. and I was unaware until recently that the only way it could pass through congress (in '64) was if they took out VOTING RIGHTS ... which was then passed in a later bill .... in fact, it was over several years time and several bills that civil rights came into it's fulness we have today .... has congress always been so unreasonable and inhumane?



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