President’s Perspective: 25 years of the ADA
In this issue of Pulse, you will read about therapy animals and their role in not only helping bring joy to hospital patients of all ages, but also in rehabilitation and physical therapy. This campus is home to some incredible rehabilitation programs, and each day there are teams of professionals helping individuals overcome tremendous obstacles. These folks understand that while exceptional treatment and care are paramount, patients facing temporary or lifelong disabilities will encounter entirely new challenges once they return to their lives outside of the medical center.
July marks 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of mental or physical disability. It also ensures that public spaces, transportation and services are accessible to all—whether that means widening entryways and installing ramps to allow wheelchair access, or ensuring accessible parking spaces for those with limited mobility. What may seem like fixtures in public spaces today were not always so.
Beyond policy, the advancements that have been made in equipment and technology over the past 25 years are noteworthy—from wheelchairs and prosthetics to communication assistance technology and wearable monitoring devices. Imagine what can be accomplished in the next 25 years.
Here in the medical center, we see researchers, engineers and patients work together to develop equipment that can help individuals overcome various physical and medical challenges. We hope that this progress continues—whether through the inspired engineering students at Rice, collaborations between our campus’ medical schools and teaching hospitals, or our very own TMC Innovation Institute.