Employment, financial support, and equal access to facilities and services are main issues affecting the disabled.


What counts as a disability is a question that is constantly in flux - in the courts, as a policy issue and in our general perceptions. We won't delve into that debate, but offer a few definitions just to give you a general law of the land.

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issue guide: Stem Cell Research

The Skinny

see also background & facts, pro & con, links

What's Up

In 2001 President Bush reversed a Clinton era order that opened up federally funded stem cell research and, instead, limited public research to cells from a handful of existing stem cell "lines." Throughout Bush's years there were calls from a growing number of Democrats and Republicans to "lift the ban on stem cell research." While there was no outright ban – after all, private companies, states and localities could fund all the stem cell research they wanted – the administration, on moral and ethical grounds, limited federally funded research to only certain lines of cells. That was bad news for research, according to many scientists, who said the limits slowed the progress of curing many diseases.

With a new administration in 2009, stem cell policy flipped again. This time the National Institute of Health, with the blessing of President Obama, okayed research on stem cells from embryos left unused at fertility clinics.