(STL.News) On July 26, our nation will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which provides protections against discrimination of people with disabilities in several areas including employment, education, health care, recreation, transportation, and housing.
The ADA was enacted and signed into law to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and access to opportunities as people without disabilities. CDC recognizes the ADA as an opportunity for the inclusion of people with disabilities in federal efforts related to public health and health care.
“CDC is committed to protecting the health and well-being of people with disabilities in our public health efforts,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “Addressing the current pandemic, CDC has heightened our efforts during the COVID-19 response to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in our guidance and have access to important public health information. We continue to work closely with our partners to deliver essential information to individuals with disabilities and their families and are creating a variety of web resources in accessible formats, including American Sign Language.”
Over the last 30 years, there have been real gains in access to public health programs, such as interventions and accessible formats that are tailored to meet the needs of people with different types of disabilities, as well as improvements in the built environment, such as accessible walkways, playgrounds, and parks. However, inequalities still exist. People with disabilities continue to face significant health disparities compared to people who do not have disabilities. Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities.
“The struggles for access to health care and inclusion that people with disabilities face must be addressed—public health is for everyone,” added Dr. Redfield. “We encourage all Americans to join us in strengthening and building a healthier and more inclusive Nation.”