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Dr. Alan Guttmacher

Director's Update

Celebrating 25 years of the ADA

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dr. Alan Guttmacher highlights the advances of this groundbreaking legislation in an article for the Huffington Post. An excerpt is below:

The ADA, passed by Congress in 1990, created a culture of acceptance and inclusion for people with disabilities. This groundbreaking law also helped to establish a research arm at NICHD, called the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, that funds scientific projects aimed at enhancing the health, productivity, independence, and quality of life of people with disabilities.

During the past two decades, this center has advanced our understanding of effective rehabilitation therapies, assistive devices, and technologies. The center has funded sophisticated software External Web Site Policy that enables people with paralysis to communicate through computers simply with their thoughts. It also has fostered development of neuroimaging techniques that allow researchers to pinpoint the parts of the brain that control various functions, making it possible to monitor the effectiveness of therapies in people with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

“There's no doubt the ADA has helped improve mobility, independence, and accessibility for families with disabled children. It has also changed society's view of disabilities and of the full and productive lives that those with "diffabilities" can lead. But there still is much more to do to improve opportunities for those with disabilities, including continued research into the biological, environmental, and social factors affecting recovery and rehabilitation from disease or injury.”

Read the full article External Web Site Policy.

Last Updated Date: 07/08/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 07/08/2015

About the Director

Alan Guttmacher, M.D., assumed the duties of NICHD Acting Director on December 1, 2009. A pediatrician and medical geneticist, Dr. Guttmacher came to the NIH in 1999 to work at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he served in a number of roles, including Deputy Director from 2002 to 2010, and Acting Director from 2008 to November 30, 2009.

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