Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability.
The "original intent" of the law, as co-conceived by Lex Frieden and Mitchell J. Rappaport, was to create civil rights law protections for people with disabilities that would be permanent and would not be able to be reversed or weakened, and would prohibit all discrimination. It was also intended so that Americans with disabilities would be kept in the mainstream in terms of scientific and medical research and developments.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public and private services and employers to be accessible to all people, regardless of disability. When dealing with people who are Deaf, Deaf-blind, or hard of hearing, this means that communication must be accessible. In many cases, the best way to ensure this is to have an interpreter.
Doctors, nurses, dentists, specialists, therapists, and other health care providers must communicate effectively to provide appropriate, effective, quality health care services. Federal disability discrimination laws mandate equal access to and an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from health care services, and effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. These laws include:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – applies to federal health care services and facilities; and health care providers who are also recipients of federal financial assistance, usually provided by direct funding (such as federal Medicaid funds) or by grants (such as a federal research grant).
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act – applies to all public (state and local) health care providers.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act – applies to all private health care providers.