Abstract

The pendulum of mental health law has swung between a focus on autonomy and on well-being. At its 25th anniversary, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is an important player in this landscape. After describing my experience in school and work before and after the enactment of the ADA, this article sets out the important issues in mental health today and more broadly. I describe other policies driven by the ADA, as well as my work at the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. Although this article focuses primarily on mental health impairments and related disabilities, as opposed to intellectual and developmental disabilities, much of what is said here applies broadly to cognitive impairments.

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