Striving for an America free of discrimination against people with disabilities, where people with disabilities are valued, integrated members of society who have full access to education, homes, healthcare, jobs, and families.
The ACLU's Disability Rights work strives for an America free of discrimination against people with disabilities, where people with disabilities are valued, integrated members of society who have full access to education, homes, healthcare, jobs, and families. We are also committed to ensuring people with disabilities are no longer segregated into, and over-represented in, civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails and prisons.
The ACLU supports equal access to educational opportunities for people with disabilities. We promote an education system that is free from punitive disciplinary methods such as corporal punishment, restraint and seclusion, and bullying as well as free from the inappropriate and overuse of suspensions and expulsions. We oppose the use of vouchers and separate schools that further segregate and impoverish the education of students with disabilities.
The ACLU supports reducing the use of our jail and prison systems to warehouse people with mental and physical disabilities. We support efforts within the criminal justice system to identify and work with a person’s disability in rehabilitative efforts.
Because of discomfort and misunderstanding, people in the United States with disabilities—particularly mental and psychiatric disabilities-- are often not treated as independent adults capable making decisions about their own lives. ACLU works to ensure that disability is not a rationale for depriving people of their civil liberties and that people with disabilities have the opportunity to make genuine choices in their lives, including where and with whom they live, when and what they eat, whether and for whom to vote, how and where they spend their money and their time.
Being stopped by the police is difficult for everyone. If you are deaf, the experience can be worse. The ACLU has teamed up with Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf and the wife of a police officer, and advocacy group Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) on an American Sign Language video to ensure deaf people know their rights when interacting with law enforcement.