Allison Greiner Redick, Linda McClain, Catana Brown; Consumer Empowerment Through Occupational Therapy: The Americans With Disabilities Act Title III. Am J Occup Ther 2000;54(2):207-213. doi: 10.5014/ajot.54.2.207.
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© 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association
Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine whether occupational therapists (a) value a role educating consumers about the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA; Public Law 101–336); (b) are knowledgeable regarding Title III of the ADA; and (c) implement provisions and empower consumers who use wheelchairs to access public accommodations.
Method. A random sample of 510 occupational therapists was surveyed, with 229 responding. Of those surveys returned, 152 respondents who serve clients who use wheelchairs met inclusion criteria.
Results. Although 90% of the participants agreed that occupational therapists should have ADA knowledge and should educate consumers, the mean score of ADA accessibility knowledge on a 10-point quiz was 1.85. The mean score of reported actions to implement ADA provisions with clients was 11.78 of a possible 40 points. There was a significant positive correlation between implementation and attitude (r = .3609, p = .01) and between implementation and knowledge (r = .3376, p = .01); however, the correlation between attitude and knowledge (r = .1673, p = .05) was not significant.
Conclusion. Therapists’ lack of knowledge and their self-reported inaction with regard to ADA Title III may affect the accessibility of the environment, independence, and empowerment of clients who are wheelchair mobile and, therefore, may impede progress toward fully inclusive communities.
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