Individuals with severe mental illness often have their rights taken away–when they are hospitalized involuntarily, discriminated against at work, and not given accommodations that they need in order to do well in school. How can their needs met be when their illness makes it so difficult to get through school, get a job, and keep a job? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities–including psychiatric disabilities–and helps people get the accommodations and fair treatment that they need. On October 26, 2013 at SARDAA’s second annual conference, Diego Demaya, J.D. explained the ADA and how it protects people with psychiatric disabilities. For more information go to www.ada.gov
Diego Demaya, J.D. is a human resources educator and legal specialist for the Southwest Region of the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, a program of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. He is a member of the Houston Commission on Disabilities and past president of the Houston Council of the Blind Inc. He is also a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and Texas State Bar Disability Issues Committee. Demaya received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a law degree from the City University of New York School of Law.