Continuing barriers define disability

The future of disability in America will depend on how well this country prepares for and manages the demographic, fiscal, and technological developments that will unfold during the next two to three decades.
So described The National Academies Press (NAP) their newly released prepublication evaluating "principles and scientific evidence for disability policies and services." Authored by the Board on Health Sciences Policy (HSP) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the almost 700 page report analyzes the barriers restricting "the independence, productivity, and participation in community life of people with disabilities."

Finding some progress has been made since earlier reports, the book states:
This progress includes a growing understanding that disability is not an inherent attribute of individuals. Rather, it results from interaction between individuals and their physical and social environments...advances in mainstream electronic and information technologies - combined with regulatory requirements for accessibility features - have been liberating for many people with disabilities.
However, little progress has been made in adopting earlier public policy and practical recommendations. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), though adopted in 1990 and still helping to increase awareness of the concerns, has been disappointedly enforced and implemented.
This report argues that concerted action - taken sooner than later - is essential for this nation to avoid a future of harm and inequity.
The Future of Disability in America
(Uncorrected Copy - Prepublication Available, 2007, 680 pp/Open Book, NAP)

Report Brief - April 2007 (pdf, 4 pp)
Executive Summary (pdf, 31 pp)



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