#AdvocacyMatters: CAP Celebrates

September 29, 2023 / #AdvocacyMatters

Earlier this week, one of our most impactful programs hit its golden anniversary – 50 years. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was enacted to enhance the lives of the disability community by ending discrimination in access to federal programs and vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, so that people with disabilities could participate fully in society without fear. Our Client Assistance Program (CAP) is the body for Ohio that makes sure that this act can be fully realized.

It may be easy to take for granted all that our teams do across our state, so it’s important to slow down and recognize how far we have come. Since CAP’s inception in 1973 along with the Rehabilitation Act, Ohioans with disabilities have had a program that stays true and firm to the overall vision of the original legislation – people with disabilities will be full and equal members of the workforce.

Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation system, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is the main body that decides eligibility for VR services in our state. It is the duty of the CAP to help if you have concerns with OOD, feel discriminated against by your employer, or if you have worries about any of Ohio’s independent living service systems. The CAP is truly the hallmark of disability independence, and we are so proud to share the celebration of its 50th anniversary with you.

This celebration also brings a reminder: These acts and rules are most effective when updated and modernized as needed. HHS is currently considering changes to Section 405 of the Rehabilitation Act that updates language around topics like discrimination in medical treatment, accessibility of medical equipment, web, mobile ap, and kiosk accessibility, child welfare programs and activities, community integration, and value assessment methods. Through November 13th, HHS will be accepting public comment on this proposed rule change. You can get involved in submitting public comment both online at www.regulations.gov or by mail to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Attention: 504 NPRM (RIN 0945-AA15), Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 led the way to other historic legislation, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments of 2008. Without the tireless work of advocates with disabilities all around our state and country, we would have no anniversaries to celebrate, and would still be fighting for the basic civil rights of Ohioans with disabilities. This celebration is a reminder that #AdvocacyMatters for our community to reduce disparities and ensure equitable resources for all.

Happy 50th Anniversary – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and CAP!

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