Closing the Gap: A Ten Point Strategy for the Next Decade of Disability Civil Rights Enforcement
August 10, 2000
SCOPE AND PURPOSE:
This year in May, NCD convened Think Tank 2000: Advancing the Civil and Human Rights of People with Disabilities from Diverse Cultures. This group of experts from diverse cultural, professional and disability backgrounds was charged with developing action steps for fully implementing disability rights laws at the community level for people from diverse cultures and other under-served groups. Within a month after this meeting, NCD convened a second group, the Civil Rights Retreat, to build upon the Think Tank 2000 plan of action and the Unequal Protection Under Law reports. These experts, also from diverse cultural, professional and disability backgrounds, were charged with mapping out the elements of a ten-year strategy for more effective civil rights enforcement.
The resulting ten point strategy represents a collective effort by people from many diverse backgrounds to reach past their own community perspectives to understand and lend a hand to one another on the road to full equality. They realized that to make a difference, the plan must speak to people across the boundaries of disability, race, culture, age, education and income. It must affirm the fundamental truth that power comes from unity, and from power comes a mighty force for change. To succeed, the plan must inspire leaders who not only can bring together people from many different civil and human rights perspectives, but who can inspire them to unified action. For it is people - from every community in the land and every station in life - acting together from a common vision of equality, who will keep the promise of inclusion, independence and equal opportunity for all.