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Release: Immediate

UI law professor to testify before U.S. House of Representatives inquiry on the ADA

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Peter Blanck, University of Iowa College of Law professor, has been asked to present his research on the status of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee at its first major inquiry on the ADA.

Blanck will be among select various government, disability and industry leaders in a roundtable discussion on the effectiveness of the ADA in Washington D.C., Monday, Oct. 5. Blanck is also director of the UI Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center and 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.

"While the ADA has been effective in removing longstanding employment barriers, a systematic evaluation of the economic and policy implications associated with the emerging workforce of people with disabilities 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.

"The present research is not able to fully inform policy makers, employers, members of the disability community, and others about the complex issues related to the intended and unintended consequences of ADA implementation in ways that articulate the values and goals of the policies affecting persons with disabilities."

Earlier this year Blanck 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. This year Blanck also 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.