ted kennedy quote
Probably his most famous quote. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Ted Kennedy: February 22, 1932- August 25, 2009

Here is the video tribute that was done for Ted Kennedy at the DNC convention. (this is an older post recently udpated) 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. I am republishing this on his death anniversary date, and oddly he now shares a death date with John McCain. Ted Kennedy, John McCain and my grandmother all died on August 25.

List of Disability Legislation promoted/sponsored by Ted Kennedy

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.

1972: WIC— 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 AmendmentsProhibited 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.