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Research Article  |   January 1994
Implications of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 for Elderly Persons
Author Affiliations
  • Judy McGinty Bachelder, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine Program in Occupational Therapy, 4567 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
  • Claudia List Hilton, MBA, OTR, is Coordinator of Marketing & Recruitment, and Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine Program in Occupational Therapy, St. Louis, Missouri
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Practice
Research Article   |   January 1994
Implications of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 for Elderly Persons
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1994, Vol. 48, 73-81. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.1.73
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1994, Vol. 48, 73-81. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.1.73
Abstract

Because the prevalence of disability increases proportionately with age, the expanding population of older adults is potentially the largest single group to benefit from the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Public Law 101-336). One fourth of elderly persons have functional disabilities acquired through age-related chronic and acute conditions. The ADA guarantees older adults with disabilities equality in the workplace and the community. It also enhances their opportunities to continue living independently as long as possible. Applications of the ADA for elderly persons with functional impairments include providing opportunities to continue working in a job suited to their abilities, eliminating structural or programmatic barriers to full inclusion, and providing accommodations for sensor losses. Occupational therapists also have certain responsibilities and opportunities in supporting the rights of elderly persons with functional impairments under the ADA. These responsibilities include providing rehabilitation to promote community reintegration, consulting with employers and service providers on the unique needs of the elderly, and advocating on behalf of and in association with older Americans.