Epilepsy Foundation Celebrates the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Thursday, July 26, 2018

LANDOVER, MD, July 26, 2018 — The Epilepsy Foundation is proud to join other organizations and individuals across the nation to celebrate the 28th year of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 to prohibit discrimination and guarantee the civil rights of people with disabilities. In 2008, then President George W. Bush signed an ADA Amendment Act that restored and protected the rights of people with epilepsy and other disabilities under the ADA as Congress had originally intended. The Epilepsy Foundation served as a leading member of the advocacy team that worked with Congress and business leaders to gain unanimous support for the restoration of the law.

“With champion, Tony Coelho, a person living with epilepsy and a member of our Board of Directors, taking the lead in Congress as its chief author, the ADA has always served as a guiding light for people with epilepsy and other disabilities,” said Philip Gattone, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “As we celebrate 28 years of the ADA, we are privileged to see first-hand how this law and the 2008 amendment have opened doors in the U.S. and around the world to improve quality of life for millions of people living with epilepsy.”

The passing of the ADA Amendment Act paved the way for equal opportunity, full integration into society and equal access and improved employment for people with epilepsy.

“As the father of a child with epilepsy, I feel nothing but pride in our Foundation’s efforts to help enact such a historic piece of legislation,” said Bradley P. Boyer, Esq., Secretary of the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation. “The collaborative efforts could not have happened without the leadership of the Epilepsy Foundation Board, especially our good friend Tony Coelho. It could not have happened without our local offices around the country working to let Congress know how important the ADA is to people living with epilepsy. It could not have happened without the strength of our nationwide community— people with epilepsy, and the families and friends of people who live with chronic seizures.”

As the Epilepsy Foundation builds upon the progress it helped to create by playing a critical role in the inception of the ADA and the ADA Amendment Act, the Foundation is also celebrating other accomplishments over the past 50 years which have addressed the needs of the epilepsy community including:

  • Creating the first and only legal information and advocacy program addressing discrimination against people with epilepsy in 1977.
  • Creating the Jeanne Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund in 2005 to provide legal counsel to individuals with epilepsy, often at no cost.
  • Establishing the first nationwide epilepsy employment and job training programs.
  • Forming collaborative partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for nationwide epilepsy education and awareness.
  • Establishing epilepsy.com, the largest and most comprehensive seizure information and education web platform in the world.
  • Advocating for, and supporting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the first drug derived from cannabis plant in the U.S. to treat two rare forms of epilepsy.
  • Creating state pathways for FDA-approved therapies derived from cannabidiol.
  • Funding more than $60 million in research and new therapies, including providing initial grants to many of today’s top epilepsy experts in the U.S.
  • Establishing the Care & Cure Institute to fund the training of epilepsy specialists to help improve access to specialty care.
  • Creating the Wellness Institute and the Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Institute to educate and promote key initiatives.
  • Helping bring to market new innovative technologies to improve the lives of people living with seizures today.

As the Foundation looks back on its 50 years, this is but the tip of the iceberg of what has been accomplished with, and for, people with epilepsy, and it is but a fraction of what lies ahead.

About Epilepsy
When a person has two unprovoked seizures or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more, they are considered to have epilepsy. (An unprovoked seizure is one that occurs for no known reason.) Epilepsy affects more than 3.4 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. This year, another 150,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite all available treatments, at least 3 out of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures while many more experience less than optimal seizure control.

About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with more than 50 network partners throughout the U.S., has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is: to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit epilepsy.com. “Like” the Epilepsy Foundation on Facebook at facebook.com/epilepsyfoundationofamerica and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/epilepsyfdn.

Contact Name: 
Jackie Aker
Contact Phone: 
(310) 846-9272
Contact Email: 

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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