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Deidre Davis Butler (1955–2020), disability rights advocate

by Kirk Fox

Deidre Davis Butler was a champion for disability rights and a lawyer who helped draft the Americans With Disabilities Act.  

  • Died: Friday, August 7, 2020 (Who else died on August 7?) 
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 64, a cause of death was not revealed. 
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Disability Rights Champion 

Davis Butler was diagnosed with a spinal tumor at age 6, and the surgery to remove it affected her ability to walk. After graduating from law school at Howard University, she worked on disability rights, helping to draft 1990’s landmark Americans With Disabilities Act. Davis Butler was dedicated to making sure that minorities had access to important disability programs. She was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and served from 1995 until 2001.  

On being a minority working on the ADA 

“I was one of the very few people of color in the inner layers of helping to draft the ADA, implement it, enforce it from all different perspectives.” —Davis Butler told Michel Martin of NPR in 2010  


What they said about her

Full Obituary: New York Times

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