August 14, 2018
Recently, we observed the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the ADA, which helped recognize and protect the rights of our 56 million fellow citizens with disabilities.
Since the passage of the ADA in 1990, we’ve seen enormous advances. Street corners are more accessible for those who use wheelchairs. Television is captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Many internet videos and photographs have verbal descriptions so those who are blind can know the visual content as well as the written content.
Despite these positive developments, people with disabilities in our country are still extraordinarily underemployed and more likely to be out of the workforce. According to the annual American Community Survey, the poverty rate for people with disabilities is almost three times that of the general public.
To change these statistics, we need to expand upon the great strides that have been made in the way we think about, discuss and support meaningful employment for Americans with disabilities.
The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, known as ABLE, which we co-authored in the Senate, was passed in 2014. This law makes it possible for people who develop their disability before their 26th birthday to save up to $100,000 without risk of losing their disability benefits….