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The Future of Independent Living

However, a more favorable decision was reached in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Waffle House, Inc.(122 S. Ct. 54 2002). That decision holds that an arbitration “agreement between an employer and an employee to arbitrate employment-related disputes . . . does not bar EEOC from pursuing victim-specific judicial relief [under ADA] on behalf of an employee” (NCD 2002d).

In sum, while it is clear that the enactment of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the IDEA and the ADA, are momentous accomplishments, to which the disabilities right movement may point with pride, the aftermath of their enactment has not always been followed by meaningful compliance. In addition, unresolved questions as to just what the values undergirding these laws and key terms mean in a particular case remain. Many of these matters will be raised and resolved over and over again in negotiations with countless school officials, government officials and business people at all levels. Some resolutions may require Supreme Court rulings. Many, or even most, such resolutions and rulings, in all likelihood, will enable those with disabilities to retain the “raised consciousness” and pride instilled by the success achieved at independent living centers.