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President Trump’s lawyer due in court today. Also on our rundown: HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposes raising the rent on low-income families; plus we will look at efforts to address addiction in Ohio: what’s working, and what’s not.

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ADA Celebrates 20 Years: How Far Has MO Come?

July 26, 2010

JEFFERSON, CITY, Mo. - The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has 20 years in effect as of today. It's long been hailed as a sweeping civil rights law which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities of all kinds in regard to employment and access to goods and services. The ADA also opened doors to integrated settings to enable people with developmental disabilities to live in their own communities.

There have been many strides made over the past two decades, but according to Cathy Brown with the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Show Me State has recently been taking steps backwards because of budget constraints, leaving many people fearful they'll wind up in institutions.

"And ironically, with this year the 20th year of Americans with Disabilities Act, the State of Missouri is looking to rebuild on the campuses of two of its institutions."

Brown says those institutions are the Bellefontaine and Nevada Habilitation Centers, and are among Missouri's six state-run facilities. She says more education and awareness needs to be done to erase old attitudes that prioritize institutional over community care.

Brown says that when President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law he said, "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." Brown says that quote continues to be an inspiration 20 years later, and a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

"The walls of exclusion have been chipped at in Missouri. They certainly haven't tumbled yet."

Brown says helping people with developmental disabilities live in non-institutional settings saves taxpayers money in the long run, compared to the millions of dollars spent to build institutions. Currently, eleven states have phased out state-run institutions for the developmentally disabled.

Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO