The Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30 this year, and with the anniversary come fresh attacks from the Trump administration that would make it harder for millions with disabilities to receive benefits. These new regulations would add a new category of recipient called “medical improvement likely” and would increase the frequency of continuing disability reviews that monitor eligibility. This means for more than 4.4 million people, mostly children and those 50 to 65 with poor health and little to no income, would have to demonstrate every two years that they are still disabled, making an already arduous and complicated process worse.
Luckily it seems politicians are paying attention. They recognize that those with disabilities number more than 14 million nationally, a voting bloc roughly the same size as blocs of Latino or black voters.
As a 51-year-old man living with Parkinson’s disease, I think about the chance that disability will be a part of my future. As of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 61 million American adults, or 1 in 4, live with at least one type of disability, and some live with multiple types.
We need better comprehensive policies supporting the needs of those with disabilities. A just society requires it. At the same time, we need more persons with disabilities in the workforce, including federal jobs.