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Disability Rights

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For more than 30 years the ERC has been advancing the rights of people with disabilities.

The ERC takes a multifaceted approach to protecting the civil rights of the disability community on a cross-disability basis, with a goal of assuring that people with disabilities have the same choices and opportunities that people without disabilities enjoy every day.

Today, more than 60 million people in the United States, approximately one in five, have some type of disability.  Disability can be temporary or chronic, one can be born with a disability or acquire it later in life, and, of all the protected classes, disability is one of the only ones which is truly ‘fluid’, meaning anyone at any time may find him or herself with a disability.  This constant growth and fluctuation in the disability community means that constant education and advocacy is necessary – to help those with disabilities understand their rights under the law, and to help those without disabilities understand the importance of inclusiveness.

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Veterans with Disabilities ToolkitDownload the Veterans with Disabilites Toolkit

If you are one of the more than half a million veterans who have experienced burns, amputations, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or any other condition that substantially limits your life activities, you have the right to housing that suits your needs.

The federal Fair Housing Act protects the rights of veterans with disabilities who are seeking equal access to housing. Under the Fair Housing Act, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as: seeing, hearing, working, and/or the operation of major bodily functions.

Read an accessible version of the Veterans with Disabilites Toolkit >>

Assistance Animal Users' Public Accommodations and Fair HousDownload the Assistance Animal Users’ Public Accommodations and Fair Housing Toolkit

From guide dogs that help blind individuals navigate their surroundings, to cats that provide emotional support to people suffering from depression, there are numerous types of assistance animals available to people with disabilities. However, federal laws governing the right to be accompanied by these animals in various settings can be confusing. This toolkit is designed to help define and categorize the different types of assistance animals, and to inform those who use an assistance animal of their rights and what they can do if they experience discrimination.

Read an accessible version of the Assistance Animal Users’ Public Accommodations and Fair Housing Toolkit >>

Equal Rights Center Announces National Initiative with TJX to Promote Accessibility

The Equal Rights Center announced an initiative with The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) to promote accessibility at TJX’s stores throughout the United States. TJX and the ERC will work collaboratively to review accessibility at TJX’s U.S. locations, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores. The ERC will also work closely with TJX on the training of its associates on accessibility standards and customer service for people with disabilities.

"This collaboration between the Equal Rights Center and TJX shows that TJX truly values all of its customers, including the millions of shoppers with disabilities.” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC, “As an industry leader and a Fortune 500 company, TJX, along with other ERC partners understand that promoting equal opportunity is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business.”

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For Civil Minds- the ERC's blog

Read the ERC's blog to learn more about a variety of civil rights issues. The blog is updated frequently so remember to keep checking back for new stories and topics!

Download our Disability Rights Brochure

Learn more about your rights and what the ERC can do to help.  

Read an accessible version of the Disability Rights Brochure >>


Take our quiz and learn more about the visitability movement!


Justice For All

Be a part of a community and keep up to date on disability issues on the AAPD blog.

Washington, D.C. Access Guide

Planning a trip to the ERC or to visit the nation's capital?  Check out the access guide for tips on accessible sites.

“Two Decades of Protecting Disability Rights—The ADA Turns 20 ”

Read the ERC report card timeline covering our victories in protecting access to government services and public accommodations.

Read an accessible version of "The ADA Turns 20" >>

Referral Guide

Learn more about service providers and organizations which offer you support.

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