The future of disability in America will depend on how well the United States prepares for and manages the demographic, fiscal, and technological developments that will unfold during the next two to three decades. Building upon two prior studies from the Institute of Medicine (the 1991 Institute of Medicine's report Disability in America and the 1997 report Enabling America), The Future of Disability in America examines both progress and concerns about continuing barriers that limit the independence, productivity, and participation in community life of people with disabilities.
This book offers a comprehensive look at a wide range of issues, including the prevalence of disability across the lifespan; disability trends; the role of assistive technology; barriers posed by health care and other facilities with inaccessible buildings, equipment, and information formats; the needs of young people moving from pediatric to adult health care and of adults experiencing premature aging and secondary health problems; selected issues in health care financing (e.g., risk adjusting payments to health plans, coverage of assistive technology and personal care services); and the organizing and financing of disability-related research. The Future of Disability in America is an assessment of both principles and scientific evidence for disability policies and services. This book's recommendations propose steps to eliminate barriers and strengthen the evidence base for future public and private action's to reduce the impact of disability on individuals, families, and society.