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International Day of People with Disability
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Consider What We Have Accomplished

By Lex Frieden  November 30, 2015

Introduction from the AAP President

My dear colleagues:

Today, we join the rest of the world in marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Since 1992, this occasion commemorates critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with activity limitation and participation restriction in society. Through research we, as academic physiatrists, can do a lot more in enhancing rehabilitation outcomes and community integration through restorative therapies and application of novel technologies. We can also promote awareness and educate the public, including our other professional colleagues in clinical medicine and medical education, on matters about chronic disability management. We have come a long way in how we regard persons with activity limitation and participation restriction since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities act 25 years ago, but we still have a long way to go.

      Personally, I am fortunate that I do not have to travel far to learn  more about the past, current, and future challenges of persons with activity limitation and participation restriction. Not far from my office Lex Frieden, professor of bioinformatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School, and Director of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Independent Living Resource Utilization, holds court.  I invited Lex, a renowned educator, researcher, disability policy expert and widely acknowledged as "a chief architect of the ADA," to write down his musings about what we have accomplished in disability rights and empowerment. Enjoy reading his piece, and join me in hoping that one day the term "disability" will be archaic and that instead we will celebrate the "International Day of Persons with Enhanced Abilities."

Best,

Gerard E. Francisco

President, AAP

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