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In observance of October’s National Disability Awareness Month, yesterday Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Johnston joined Advocates for HUD Employees with Disabilities and the Office of Department Equal Employment Opportunity to recognize the indispensable contributions people with disabilities make in our communities and workplaces.
During the ceremony Acting Assistant Secretary Johnston said:
“For generations, people with physical and intellectual disabilities were routinely denied access to places and opportunities that the rest of society took for granted: access to schools, markets, theaters, courts of law, the workplace, and—yes—housing. Today, the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be felt in every community and on every street corner in America. It was only because of that historic law that a decade later, the Supreme Court held that institutionalizing people with disabilities without cause is a form of discrimination – what we now refer to the landmark Olmstead decision.
In countless ways, the ADA and Olmstead have proved essential to realizing the promise of HUD’s mission – because they collectively affirm that seniors and people with disabilities want to live in healthy, integrated communities of opportunity and choice – and should have that right.”
While several program areas here at HUD serve many people with disabilities, HUD takes its enforcement role of the Fair Housing Act very seriously. This landmark law that prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
Because America’s neighborhoods and workplaces should reflect the diversity of its people, HUD fights for the rights of people with disabilities not only during this important time in October, but throughout the year.