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NCD Chairman Statement on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 17, 2022

For Immediate Release

Jan. 17, 2022

The following is a statement by National Council on Disability Chairman Andrés Gallegos:

Today we remember and celebrate the legacy of an American who fundamentally changed this country for the better.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly and paid the ultimate sacrifice to bring greater equality to America and ensure civil rights for all people, regardless of race.

For the disability community, his work was reflected in the journey of passing the Americans with Disabilities Act, where nonviolent protest and addressing the need for equity helped set the tone of the movement; landmark legislation that likely would not exist without the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Disability rights ARE civil rights.

It was Dr. King who in 1966 said, “Of all forms of discrimination and inequalities, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.” Then he was challenging the use of federal funds to support a segregated healthcare system.

As NCD works toward the establishment of a health equity framework for all people with disabilities, we heed the words of Dr. King in calling for prioritization of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 response and health equity.

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