Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.

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Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

Freedom Bus Tries to Crash through “Barriers” in TN This Week

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Monday, October 29, 2007   

Memphis, TN – A red, white and blue bus is trying to crash through "barriers" this week in Tennessee. The "Road to Freedom" bus will make stops in several cities to call attention to the barriers faced by people with disabilities, especially in the workplace.

Jim Ward, of the National Coalition of Disability Rights, says disabled Americans aren't looking for special rights or privileges. They just want to be treated fairly, even when their condition is not as obvious as those that require the use of a wheelchair.

"People with so-called 'invisible disabilities' -– like epilepsy, diabetes, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, cancer –- are very much a part of this movement."

Ward explains the "Americans with Disabilities Act" (ADA) does not protect people from discrimination at work, or during the hiring process. He says the Act, first passed in 1990, has been eroded by the courts to the extent that only people with severe disabilities are covered, when the intention of the legislation was much broader.

"The ADA is not just about important things like wheelchair ramps. It's about civil rights, and economic rights, and social justice."

Congress is considering the "ADA Restoration Act," which Ward believes will refocus attention on these issues and help to get more people with disabilities into the workforce. Ward and his family have traveled 25,000 miles and visited 44 states so far to share their messages about the importance of disability rights. Their journey is being paid, in part, by the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation.

The "Road to Freedom" Tennessee tour includes the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis today, at a 2:00 PM news conference; Jackson on Tuesday; the Frist Museum in Nashville on Wednesday; and Knoxville on Thursday.



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