Presentation on theme: "Emmanuel Smith PABSS Advocate Disability Rights Iowa."— Presentation transcript:
Emmanuel Smith PABSS Advocate Disability Rights Iowa
Legal foundations of modern disability advocacy:
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed on July 26 th, 1990.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
Laws alone do not transform a society.
An Advocate is willing to challenge discrimination and defend their rights and the rights of others…
Advocacy can begin at any age…
Segregated settings and congregate facilities Subminimum wage under section 14 ( c ) FLSA Challenges to their right to Self Determination Underenforcement of Disability Law Discrimination and false perceptions ◦ Underemployment ◦ Segregation ◦ Violence and Neglect
Stereotyping/ dismissive attitudes Myths, Fears, and Misconceptions The strong impulse to “not cause waves” Seemingly endless array of issues…
Rights are not favors, the results of compromise, or charity. They are afforded by the force of law.
Courtesy: The Washington Post
Jenny is a 29 year old woman with Down Syndrome. She was forced to live in group home doing work she hated, instead of living with her friends in the community. She fought for the right to choose her guardian, and have a say over where she lived and worked. Thanks to her efforts and the work of dozens of advocates, she is living in a place of her choosing, and back at the job she loves.
Believe you fundamentally deserve the protections provided under the law. Don’t let rudeness, lack of empathy, or mistreatment dissuade you from defending your legal rights or personal dignity. Choosing your battles is not only okay, it is an important part of being an advocate. Remember: Everyone needs a circle of support.
When advocating, focus on what you need over how you feel. Offer alternatives and solutions more then criticism. Pushing for your rights is not the same as pushing for your wants or needs. Regardless of the situation, you deserve to be treated with respect. If you don’t understand your rights in a specific situation…ASK!
Remember: Calm voices and good records are your friend. People will dismiss you if given the chance.
Advocates build off each others hard work and achievements.
And our challenges do not exist independent of one another…
Often half the battle is simply feeling seen and heard.
Job Accommodation Network: AskJAN.org U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The Arc of Iowa: U.S. Department of Justice ADA Home Page:
400 East Court Avenue, Suite 300 Des Moines, Iowa Telephone: Toll Free: FAX: Toll Free TTY: Visit our webpage for more information and for links to our Facebook page: