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Blanck's research is the subject of major civil rights hearings on ADA

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Law professor's landmark research on the Americans with Disabilities Act has garnered the attention of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The commission will hear testimony this week on the effectiveness of the eight-year-old Act.

Peter Blanck's research and findings, along with the research of others, will be the subject of testimony before the commission in Washington D.C. Blanck is considered a leading academic and researcher on the ADA.

The ADA, which was signed into law in 1990, is intended to remove barriers, both physical and attitudinal, that prevent people with mental and physical disabilities from participating fully in all aspects of community life. Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment.

The ADA has been a useful tool in removing longstanding employment barriers, but more evaluation of the Act's effectiveness is still needed, Blanck says.

More study is needed in areas such as how disabled workers' participation in the workforce will aid in long-term ADA implementation and interpretation of related initiatives such as welfare, educational, health care, and dispute resolution reform. And additional research is needed to determine how implementation has coincided with larger numbers of persons with severe disabilities entering the labor force, Blanck says.

This year Blanck authored the landmark case study "The Emerging Role of the Staffing Industry in the Employment of Persons with Disabilities: A Case Report on Manpower Inc." He also wrote "The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Emerging Workforce," a detailed examination of the employment of mentally retarded persons, published by the American Association on Mental Retardation.