“I recently developed or was diagnosed with a disability. What resources are available for me?”

In the United States alone, over 1 in 5 people have a disability diagnosis. That’s over 50 million individuals. Many of these individuals are a part of our communities and an estimated minimum of 600,000 of them are American Muslims.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with or recently developed a disability, know that first of all, you are not alone. Local and national organizations and networks are here to help, and EnabledMuslim is the right place to get started.

First, remember that having a disability may have an impact on how you experience life, but it does not have an inherent impact on your value as a person. Numerous companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived with disabilities, whether they were born with them or developed them later in life. The Prophet praised many of them, as he did many of his companions who did not appear to have disabilities, and entrusted some with great responsibility. The value of each individual was not related to his/her disability, and we should not make the mistake of seeing ourselves in this way.

Remember that it is not your responsibility to educate others about how to treat you with dignity and meet your needs with your disability. But it is your right to be able to understand the specifics of your disability and feel comfortable sharing that knowledge with others as you choose. EnabledMuslim is here to help you get started on that path of self-education by providing you with guidance and resources. If you are looking for a resource, and it is not on the list below, let us know!

According to the American Association of People with Disabilities, a disability is a permanent physical, sensory or intellectual impairment that substantially affects one or more of a person’s major life activities. (Adapted from AAPD.com, 7/2/14.) There are many different types of disability. Here are some resources about what the term “disability” means and how different disabilities are classified:

Information about Disabilities

Government Entitlements and Benefits

Know your rights:

  • What is the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE)?
    • Passed in 2014, this Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life. Read more and find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
    • According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.” Read about its key features here.
    • Check out American Muslim Health Professionals’ extensive list of links and information about the Act and how to get covered.
  • What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
    • Passed in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
  • What is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)?
    • COBRA requires group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated.
  • What is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?
    • Passed in 1986, the primary goal of this law is to make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and help the healthcare industry control administrative costs.
    • The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, which requires covered entities and business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.