What's at Stake

The ACLU 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, health care, jobs, families, voting, and civic engagement. We are also committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are no longer segregated into, and overrepresented in, civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails, and prisons.

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Current Issues

Integration and Autonomy of People with Disabilities

People in the United States are profoundly uncomfortable with people who have disabilities, especially significant or visible disabilities. This has led, consciously or unconsciously, to health care, housing, and employment that segregates people with disabilities from the rest of society.

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Disability Rights and the Criminal Legal System

The ACLU supports reducing the use of the United States’ jail and prison systems to warehouse people with mental and physical disabilities. We support efforts within the criminal legal system to identify and work with a person’s disability in rehabilitative efforts.

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Disability Rights and Education

The ACLU supports equal access to educational opportunities for people with disabilities. The ACLU is also committed to challenging the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Students with disabilities and students of color with disabilities are disproportionately targeted by school police. They would benefit from support by much-needed mental health staff—counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. Instead, they are isolated, punished, and pushed out.

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