What is ADA?
The ADA requires public and private entities to provide equal access to their goods, services, and activities. A major part of meeting this obligation is providing accessible facilities. When buildings, such as restaurants, shopping centers, medical clinics, schools, courthouses, etc. are inaccessible, they pose a major barrier to people with disabilities and severely limit equal access to participation in public life.
The Americans with Disabilities Act has established standards for accessible design that include detailed provisions for elements, spaces, and facilities.
These standards provide minimum requirements for accessible design to achieve both accessibility and safety for people with disabilities.
Note that the 2010 Standards set forth minimum requirements for accessibility. Both public and private entities may design elements that go beyond the minimum standards to provide greater levels of accessibility.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.