The Rehab Act Turns 50

September 26, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the  Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first civil rights legislation protecting disabled people from discrimination. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs receiving federal financial assistance or conducted by federal agencies, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. A powerful law in its own right, the Rehab Act also paved the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act and other advancements in disability rights. 

In addition, the Rehab Act created the Independent Living Services program, the Centers for Independent Living program, and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, all of which are part of ACL today.

While there is still work to be done, the law shepherded a new era in disability rights and it serves as a cornerstone in a foundation we continue to build upon today. 

Throughout September, partners across the federal government and in the disability community are marking the anniversary of the Rehab Act with events, articles and more to explore where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going next.  We'll add them to this page and share via ACL Updates -- be sure to check back often! 

Visit the ACL website for more information.


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