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Rehabilitation Act

  • By: Teresa A. Savage
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 authorized funding for a variety of programs, including vocational rehabilitation, independent living, employment assistance, training programs, and research grants. More importantly, it was the first civil rights legislation affording protections for people with disabilities from discrimination by entities or institutions receiving federal funds. This includes public schools, elementary, secondary, and higher education systems; vocational education (except schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, or other health-related professions); and public libraries. This legislation is important to families who have members with disabilities in terms of protection from discrimination, especially in school, employment, and housing.

History

The Rehabilitation Act was supposed to be a reauthorization of the vocational rehabilitation program. A number of congressional staffers, who were responsible for revising the rehabilitation bill, believed that many ...

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