Training Teleconference: Building an Inclusive Society
The date is June 29th and the time is 2:30 to 4:00Pm EDT. Registrations will be taken until June 25th.The teleconference is sponsored by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA).
What follows is information on the teleconference:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, is one of our nation's most important civil rights achievements. This critical legislation opened the door to creating a more inclusive society by protecting the rights of people with disabilities, including psychiatric disabilities. Among the rights it guarantees are nondiscrimination in employment practices and state and local government programming; accessibility to public places, including restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, libraries, and parks; and telephone relay services for individuals who use telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD's) or similar devices. The 1999 Olmstead decision, which found that the unjustified intentional isolation of people with disabilities is a violation of the ADA, further reinforced the rights of individuals with disabilities to be part of society and live full lives in the community—with significant impact on people with behavioral health disabilities. These accomplishments have enhanced the social inclusion of people with disabilities within the U.S. and also have informed international efforts to ensure civil and human rights.
Yet even as we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA and the gains made since its passage, there exist promises yet to be fulfilled.
For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 54 million people with disabilities in the United States, the vast majority of who live in poverty and are unemployed. For those with psychiatric disabilities, studies consistently show a negative relationship to socioeconomic status. As a result of prejudice that results from misconceptions, individuals with behavioral health problems may be denied opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, adequate health care, and social interaction. Attitudes and structural barriers continue to prevent from people with behavioral health problems from becoming active participants in the labor market.
This training will recognize the accomplishments of the ADA and explore the challenges that still remain in building a fully inclusive society. Our speakers, national disability leaders, will help participants explore questions such as:
How do we become a more inclusive society?
What are the rights of people with disabilities, particularly people with psychiatric disabiltiies?
What are the challenges posed by the assertion of these rights and what protections are offered under the law?
Understand the history of the ADA and its impact on people with psychiatric disabilities.
Learn about the efforts of the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to build a collaborative network of agencies and departments with aligned programs to deliver effective integrated services to people with disabilities.
Become familiar with the mental health consumer perspective on the national and international implications of ADA and Olmstead.
It should be noted that among the speakers will be Andy J. Imparato, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation's largest cross-disability membership organization. I don't have personal information about AAPD, but it would seem to be a good organization with which RTs should interact -- especially RT associations such as ATRA.