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Support of Debo P. Adegbile as Head of Civil Rights Division

Washington, DC (January 8, 2014) –The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, strongly supports President Barack Obama’s nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Mr. Adegbile would fill the position once held by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, another disability champion that AAPD supported and who fights to protect the rights of all Americans.

“Mr. Adegbile would lead the important work of the Civil Rights Division, which has made great strides for the disability community by enforcing laws against the segregation and discrimination of Americans with disabilities,” said Mark Perriello, President and CEO of AAPD.

Mr. Adegbile’s experience in civil rights law stems from his outstanding accomplishments as a leader at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He argued before the United States Supreme Court for the Voting Rights Act twice, showing his commitment to equality and civil rights. His repertoire of cases include employment discrimination, fair housing, equal education opportunities, and voting rights, all of which are of high importance to the disability community.

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was extremely influential in the landmark court decision of Olmstead v. L.C., which ruled that people with disabilities receive services in the least restrictive setting possible. Furthermore, the Civil Rights Division has also been involved in decreasing the use of institutionalization for community-based services and increasing employment in integrated settings for people with disabilities.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on his nomination and we urge the Senate to swiftly vote to confirm Mr. Adegbile for this esteemed position.

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