In case you missed it the other night, here is the video tribute that was done for Ted Kennedy. I’m a big fan of his and miss having him here to champion for our kids. Yes, he was a man who made some mistakes, but I am a person who chooses not to define people by their lowest points. I choose to define him by his accomplishments–which for our community, was many. If he was not the author or a sponsor of these, he was a driving force. Such a list……..if only we had someone so dedicated to our kids today. February 22, 1932- August 25, 2009
1964: Head Start
— Provided meals and early education to pre-school children through the Employee Opportunity Act.
1968: Bilingual Education Act
— Mandated for schools to provide bilingual education programs.
1971: Federal Cancer Research Program
— Quadrupled the amount of money spent by the federal government to fight cancer.
— Offered food, nutrition counseling and health services to low-income women, infants, and children.
1972: Title IX
— Demanded equal funding for men’s and women’s athletics on college campuses. (a common misperception is that Title 9 is all about sex discrimination in sports; it covers disabilities too; it’s one of the pieces of legislation that gets investigated via Office of Civil Rights complaints)
1975: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
— Guaranteed free and appropriate public education to children with disabilities.
1978: Civil Rights Commission Act Amendments
— Expanded the jurisdiction of the Civil Rights Commission to protect people from discrimination on the basis of disability.
1984: Improved Access to Polling Stations
— Required polling stations to provide physical accessibility for physically disabled and elderly people on federal election days.
1986: Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act
— Allowed disabled workers to receive SSI benefits and Medicaid coverage.
1987: Even Start
— Offered early education, family literacy and related services to disadvantaged parents and their children.
1988: Fair Housing Act Amendments
— Prohibited discrimination towards people with disabilities in the sale or rental of housing.
1990: Americans with Disabilities Act
— Prohibited discrimination against any qualified individual with a disability in job application procedures, hiring or discharge, compensation, advancement and training.
1990: Ryan White CARE Act
— Provided assistance to states to develop effective and cost-efficient AIDS care programs, aimed particularly at early diagnosis and home care.
1993: National and Community Service Trust Act
— Created AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service to help expand volunteerism and education grants for students who choose to volunteer for service after college.
1993: Student Loans
— Allowed students to borrow money for college directly from the federal government.
1994: Family and Medical Leave Act
— Provided up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family emergencies or after the birth of infants.
1996: Kennedy-Kassebaum Act
— Enabled employees to keep health insurance after leaving their job and prohibited insurance companies from refusing to renew coverage on the basis of preexisting medical conditions.
1996: Mental Health Parity Bill
— Eliminated limits on mental health coverage that differ from other covered illnesses.
1997: State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
— Supported state efforts to provide health insurance to uninsured children in low-income families.
2000: Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act
— Improved data systems and research on the extent and severity of minority health problems, and authorized significant resources to help enhance the delivery of health care to minorities.
2001: No Child Left Behind Act
— Required more rigorous testing of public school students and permitted parents to transfer their children from low-performing to higher-performing schools.
2006: Family Opportunity Act
— Provided states the opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage to children with special needs and allowed low- and middle-income families with disabled children the ability to purchase coverage under the Medicaid program.