CMS OMH Celebrates Disability Pride Month and the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act

During July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) observes Disability Pride Month and the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Enacted on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

61 million adults in the United States have some type of disability, with the most prominent disabilities being mobility; followed by cognition meaning having serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; independent living; hearing; vision; and self-care. As individuals continue to learn about the effects of long-term COVID-19, or “long COVID,” multiple sections of the ADA have also been updated to protect those with long COVID from discrimination.

American Indian/Alaskan Native and Black individuals have the highest rates of individuals living with a disability. Individuals living with disabilities face poorer overall health outcomes, including increased likelihood of obesity (38.2%), heart disease (11.5%), and diabetes (16.3%). Individuals living with disabilities are also less likely to have access to adequate health care, with 1 in 3 individuals living with a disability not having access to a usual health care provider and having an unmet health care need due to high costs.

CMS OMH is focused on ensuring people with disabilities have access to quality health care services and information. The anniversary of the ADA offers us an opportunity to reaffirm this commitment and share resources that you can use to help empower individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.