What individuals with rheumatic diseases know about the Americans with Disabilities Act: A survey

Pamela Ann Kasyan, Florida International University


Individuals with rheumatic diseases often have disabilities which limit one or more major life activity. Common disabilities among individuals with rheumatic illnesses such as chronic pain, hand deformities, and fatigue may be hidden. With a hidden disability, an individual may be unaware that he or she could qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides for reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disability related limitations. Accommodations under the ADA are designed to remove barriers preventing full participation in society, including employment, for individuals with disability related limitations.^ The primary objective of this study was to determine the knowledge level of individuals with rheumatic conditions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One hundred and seven individuals with various rheumatic illnesses participated in this survey. The forty question survey included questions about type of rheumatic condition, employment, pain level, and knowledge of the ADA. Results of this study show that individuals with rheumatic conditions are more familiar with general information about the ADA and less familiar with specific information. The longer an individual has been diagnosed with a rheumatic condition the more he or she knows about the ADA. Common sources of information about the ADA are media and networking with others, rather than health care professionals. The recommendation for occupational therapists is to include education about the ADA as an integral component of treatment for all individuals with rheumatic conditions. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy|Law|Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations

Recommended Citation

Kasyan, Pamela Ann, "What individuals with rheumatic diseases know about the Americans with Disabilities Act: A survey" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1388295.