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Fighting for the rights and independence of disabled Americans

Some of our North Carolina law blog readers might not be familiar with Jim Sensebrenner. The unassuming Wisconsin congressman has been in the House of Representatives since Jimmy Carter was president. One of Sensebrenner's major causes over those decades of service has been his dedication to the creation of legal protections for disabled Americans.

He helped pass the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and follow-up legislation that helped define the rights of the disabled. The 73-year-old says he has been inspired and assisted in the fight by his wife, Cheryl, who was injured in a car accident more than 40 years ago. "Despite the pain and daily struggles she endures," she has been a "tireless advocate for the disabled," Sensebrenner recently wrote.

Now the Wisconsin Republican has a new battle to wage. He recently introduced the Disability Integration Act. He says it "would help assure the full integration of Americans with disabilities into communities nationwide."

He says that if it is passed, it will amend the ADA and enable those eligible for assistance to determine how they receive support and enable them to live as independently as possible.

The bill is also designed to help meet the needs of many disabled Americans for affordable, accessible housing. He said that when the proposal is coupled with the Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act (legislation he proposed earlier this year to help Medicare patients get access to specialized wheelchairs and other needed equipment), "the lives of millions of Americans living with disabilities" will see significant improvement.

A qualified attorney can help Charlotte residents prevented from working by a disability to appeal a denial of Social Security Disability benefits.

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