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Briefing Date:04/23/2007
Topic:The Future of Disability in America

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Institute of Medicine
Board on Health Sciences Policy
Committee on Disability in America: A New Look

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Congressional Briefing
Monday, April 23, 2007
B345-A Rayburn House Office Bldg. – 1:00 p.m.

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on

The Future of Disability in America

by

Alan M. Jette, Ph.D., Director, Health and Disability Research Institute, Boston University; and Chair, Committee on Disability in America: A New Look, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

Marilyn J. Field, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer and Study Director, Committee on Disability in America: A New Look, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

Andrew M. Pope, Ph.D., Director, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

Today more than 40 million Americans live with a disability. This number will grow as the baby boom generation enters late life, when the risk of disability is highest. If we consider people who now have disabilities, people who are likely to develop disabilities in the future, and people who are or will be affected by the disabilities of family members and others close to them, then disability will affect the lives of most Americans.

To better understand the challenges of disability in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Education, and the National Institutes of Health asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess the current situation and provide recommendations for improvement. The resulting report, The Future of Disability in America, reviews developments since two previous IOM reports on disability. It specifically examines the nation’s system for monitoring disability, Medicare and Medicaid coverage of assistive technologies and services, fair payment for health plans that enroll people with disabilities, access barriers in health care facilities and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, support for young people with disabilities as they move from pediatric to adult health care and independent living, the organization and funding of disability research, and incentives for developing and bringing to market better assistive and accessible technologies.

This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.

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