If Trump reverses this one law, disabled Americans will lose their civil rights.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush passed the Americans with Disabilities Act — a law put into place to ensure the equal rights of nearly 60 million disabled Americans nationwide, including myself.

Now, almost three decades later, the GOP-led government wants to shut it down.


People participate in the inaugural Disability Pride Parade on July 12, 2015, in New York City. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

U.S. House representatives were set to approve a bill on Feb. 8, 2018, that aimed to weaken the ADA by eliminating incentives for business owners to comply with the law mandating equal access to public places.

But some congressmen argue the decision to strip the ADA would take away the very thing this law grants to disabled Americans: equality.

"Right now, the way the ADA is structured, the reason why businesses are going to comply is that they might be sued," said Jennifer Mathis, director of policy and legal advocacy for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. "Once you take that away, that’s it, there’s no consequence. If you’re a business, there’s no reason why you need to worry about making yourself accessible."

The ADA ensures businesses take steps to be accessible to people with disabilities. Without it, it could mean limited access, job displacement, or drastic pay cuts for disabled Americans.

Under one proposed change, disabled individuals would have to provide business owners with a written notice if there’s a lack of accessibility to enter the business or with the services they offer. Business owners would have 60 days to acknowledge the problem, and an additional 120 days to make substantial changes. In short, people with disabilities would have to wait a total of 180 days to re-enforce their civil rights.

If the business owners fail to comply, they can be sued. Proponents of stripping the ADA say that the lawsuits are already out of control. Some lawyers looking for payouts conduct what are called "drive-by lawsuits" — suing businesses for a misplaced sign or ramp out of place to make a quick buck.

Yet these lawsuits are already happening and are evidence that the current legislation needs improvement more than further rollbacks.

As an American woman with cerebral palsy, I'm scared of what I stand to lose.

Today, I have the same rights as any other American, able-bodied or not. I can hold my job as a journalist and writer. I earn a decent wage. I have a right to enter all businesses: everything from shopping malls and restaurants to hotels and grocery stores.

What happens to my life if businesses don't have to create ways to help me access them?

I think about the long road I’ve taken to earn my place as a contributing member of society. If the GOP does take the ADA away, they’re taking my livelihood, and millions of others', with it.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

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Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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