ALEXANDRIA, VA, Sept 18, 2008 - The American Physical Therapy
Association (APTA) applauds the final passage by Congress of the "ADA
Amendments Act" (S. 3406) this week, legislation that strengthens legal
protection for people with disabilities against discrimination in
employment, transportation, and public accommodations.
The US House of Representatives gave its final approval on Wednesday
following Senate approval last week, and President Bush is expected to
sign the bill, which is intended to restore the original intent of
provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD, said, "People with disabilities
share the same rights as all other individuals to have access to and
opportunities for full economic, social, and personal development. We
are heartened that this important legislation will champion these rights
for the patients we treat each and every day."
The legislation expands the definition of disability and makes it
easier for workers to prove discrimination. It explicitly rejects the
strict standards used by the Supreme Court to determine who is
APTA actively supported passage of the legislation as part of a broad
coalition of patient and provider organizations. In addition, the APTA
House of Delegates has determined that APTA shall advocate for full
inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life
and within the profession and that APTA will promote education regarding
the ADA Accessibility Guidelines and implementation of the ADA.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and
manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have
medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their
abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily
lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of
care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce
pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also
work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing
fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active
APTA (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical
therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its
goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education,
practice, and research. Consumers can visit www.findapt.us to find a
physical therapist in their area, as well as www.apta.org/consumer for
physical therapy news and information.