Online Program

ADA at 25: Chaning policies and court decisions that promote the health and participation of people with disabilities

Sunday, November 1, 2015 : 4:10 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Barbara L. Kornblau, JD, OTR/L, School of Health Professions, Division of Occupational Therapy, Florida A& M University, Arlington, VA
2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act, a law, which when passed, had tremendous potential to improve access to health care for people with disabilities by changing policies.  The ADA Amendments Act further insured the ADA’s potential impact in this area. This paper quickly reviews relevant sections of the ADA that provide an opportunity to improve health and participation for people with disabilities. It then looks back and provides a review of court decisions that have provided a springboard to improve health care access, services, and participation for people with disabilities. Highlights include Tugg v Towey, where the Court required the provision of mental health services to the deaf and hard of hearing by deaf and hard of hearing therapists in order to meet Title II’s equivalent services requirement; and the well-known Olmstead decision, which freed people from unnecessary state institutionalization, allowing them to receive services in the community under the ADA. Other case summaries are presented that highlight progress in using this historic anti-discrimination legislation to change policy to improve the health of people with disabilities.

This paper looks toward to the future to identify policy areas in need of pursuit in the legal arena to further improve the health and participation of people with disabilities. Finally, it reveals opportunities for the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the anti-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act to work in concert in the future for policies to promote the health and participation of people with disabilities.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the Americans with Disabilities Act has changed policies that promote the health care, services, and participation of people with disabilities

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an attorney who litigated ADA cases. I have published and presented extensively in this area. I am a professor of occupational therapy and formally a professor of public health and Law. I was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for Senator Harkin for whom I worked on disability policy. I represented the disability community in the coalition that worked on the anti-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care ACt
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.