People with disabilities have the freedom to enjoy their life as much as an ordinary person. As long as they are capable of, they can go to work, parties, and other social events. But in order to function like a normal person, they need accommodation to help them get through.
Federal and state laws on disability rights let these people enjoy employment, public accommodations and businesses, housing, education, traveling, telecommunications, and state and local government programs & services. Disability may be defined as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities."
Some of the federal laws that provide people with disability their rights are the following:
- Air Carrier Access Act: This law applies to both domestic and foreign air carriers that provide regularly scheduled, public services for hire and prohibits discrimination in air transportation.
- Americans with Disabilities Act: ADA provides civil rights protection and prohibits discrimination to the disabled in the basis of employment, public accommodation, state and local government services, transportation, and telecommunications.
- Architectural Barriers Act: Under this act, buildings and facilities that are funded by Federal agencies must comply with the Federal standards for physical accessibility.
- Fair Housing Act: This act forbids discrimination not only in the basis of disability, but in race, color, religion, sex, and national origin as well. State and local government housing, and private housing that is funded through Federal financial assistance, are covered by this law. Owners are also required to make reasonable accommodations for equal housing opportunities.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Formerly known as the Education for all Handicapped Children Act, IDEA requires public schools to come up with an appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP's) for each child with disability. Public schools should also provide free public education to the disabled children in the least restrictive environment suitable to their needs.
- Rehabilitation Act: Discrimination on programs by Federal agencies, programs receiving Federal financial assistance, Federal employment, and employment practices of Federal contractors are prohibited.
- Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act: This law requires polling places in the US during a federal election to be physically accessible for people with disabilities. Registration and voting aids must be available for elderly and disabled voters. The location of the polling place must also be physically accessible; otherwise an alternate means must be provided.