group of advocates for disability rights and discrimination

Despite great progress, stigma surrounding epilepsy continues to fuel discrimination. This can isolate people with epilepsy from the mainstream of society and create formidable barriers in many areas of life including education, employment, access to care, transportation and community engagement. Fortunately, many civil rights laws including the Rehabilitation Act, Air Carrier Access Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA), Fair Housing Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) exist that promote equal access for people with disabilities including epilepsy.

Position

The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to defending and expanding civil rights laws that ensure protections for people with the epilepsies, as well as helping people living with epilepsy understand their rights so that they can be enforced and fully engage in all aspects of life and their communities.

Status

Through its Jeanne A. Carpenter Legal Defense Fund, the Epilepsy Foundation fights epilepsy-related discrimination by advising people affected by the epilepsies about their rights and connecting them to resources to ensure their rights are protected.

The Foundation also actively seeks to protect and expand the rights of people with disabilities through policy. Recently, the Foundation with the broader disability community has fought to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are enforced through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included ensuring that the lives of people with disabilities are equally valued when making care decisions including access to limited supplies like ventilators. There have also been efforts to ensure people with disabilities can receive care in the least restrictive setting pursuant to Olmstead v. L.C. in the form of dedicated funding for Medicaid home- and community-based services. We have also worked to ensure that virtual education is inclusive and meets the needs of students with disabilities.

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Engagement & Resources

Resources for Individuals with Epilepsy Experiencing Discrimination

Reviewed By: 
Epilepsy Foundation Advocacy
on: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020