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Americans with Disabilities Act also applies to those with mental illnesses

This week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.The ADA is a broad civil rights law designed to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and gender, the ADA seeks to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. It does not guarantee equal results, establish quotas or require preferences favoring individuals with disabilities over those without disabilities.

I am a person who experiences severe and persistent mental illness. I will not be cured. Although I am an advocate for recovery, I am not “in recovery” from my brain. I cannot abstain from “being bipolar” as one abstains from substance addiction behaviors. I am not defined by my illness, but it is a prism through which I experience the world. This is a fundamental part of who I am, as much as my ethnic heritage. It is a biologically based disease, like diabetes. I did not survive it, as some survive breast cancer. If I had breast cancer, I would receive substantially better health care and support services.

via Americans with Disabilities Act also applies to those with mental illnesses | newarkadvocate.com | The Newark Advocate.

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