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Episode 123: Understanding the Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Wednesday – November 1, 2023


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, occurs when we are exposed to a traumatic event. About half of U.S. adults will experience a traumatic event in our lifetimes. Although some people will experience PTSD, most who go through a traumatic event will not develop PTSD.

On this episode of ADA Live! we discuss how people with disabilities can be affected by traumatic events or experiences, including post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person and the effects can be delayed. People who have PTSD may meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a disability by having an impairment or condition that impacts one or more major life activities.

Our guest for this episode is Dr. Farris Tuma, a Health Scientist Administrator with the National Institute of Mental Health or NIMH, in Bethesda, Maryland. He is the NIMH point of contact for research on violence and trauma. His formal training is in public health as a research scientist, and he holds a master’s degree in health policy and management. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to mental health research. Through basic and clinical research, NIMH aims to prevent and cure mental illnesses, improving the lives of millions of individuals and families affected by mental health challenges.

** Note: Because these traumatic events or experiences and PTSD can be difficult to talk about, the information we discuss in this episode may be disturbing for some listeners. **


Farris Tuma
Farris Tuma
Chief, Traumatic Stress Disorders Research Program
National Institute of Mental Health

Farris Tuma -Chief, Traumatic Stress Disorders Research Program National Institute of Mental Health


Audio: Soundcloud Episode 123: Understanding the Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



Featured Organization

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

VISION: NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.

MISSION: To transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. We fulfill this mission by:

  • Supporting and conducting research on mental illnesses, health services, and the underlying basic science of the brain and behavior
  • Supporting the training of scientists to carry out basic and clinical mental health research
  • Communicating with scientists, patients, providers, and the public about mental health research advances and priorities


About ADA Live!

The ADA Live! podcast and resources focus on the rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A new episode airs for 30-45 minutes on the first Wednesday of each month. ADA Live! is produced by the Southeast ADA Center, one of ten regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network.

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Disability Rights Today

The podcast series, Disability Rights Today, is your source for in-depth discussion of the facts, issues and arguments of important court cases that shape the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that may impact the legal rights and the lives of people with disabilities.  You will hear from the plaintiffs, attorneys, and subject matter experts involved in the highlighted case. The host for “Disability Rights Today” is Dr. Peter Blanck, an American academic, psychologist, and lawyer who holds the titles of University Professor and Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. The podcast will appeal to disability rights advocates, attorneys, and others wanting to keep current on the latest legal developments involving the ADA. Tune-in at:

Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, in collaboration with leading economic and social policy researchers at Rutgers and Harvard Universities, invite you to listen to the podcast series: Let’s Get to Work: Reimagining Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy.

Each episode features guests with unique knowledge and insights sharing their perspective on public policies that are moving the momentum forward and holding progress back. Guests from government and the business and disability communities share their perspectives on ways to translate the latest trends and thinking to advance workforce development and employment policy that produces sustainable economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Researchers from the three universities also share what they are learning about employment policies as part of the work of the NIDILRR grant-funded Center on Disability Inclusive Employment Policy. Tune-in at:

The ADA Live! and Disability Rights Today podcasts are a cross-collaboration with the NIDILRR-funded Southeast ADA Center (#90DPAD0005-01-00), the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University, and the NIDILRR grant-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) –  Disability Inclusive Employment Practices (#90RTEM0006-01-00).


About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center is a leader in providing information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability access tailored to the needs of business, government, and individuals at local, state, and regional levels. It also conducts research to reduce and eliminate barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency and to increase the civic and social participation of Americans with disabilities. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, we are a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of Syracuse University and one of 10 regional ADA centers in the ADA National Network, funded since 1991 by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Web:

About BBI

The Burton Blatt Institute (“BBI”) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. Through program development, research, and public policy guidance, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY; Washington, DC; New York City, NY; and Lexington, KY. Web:

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post were developed by the Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the ADA National Network, under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #90DPAD0005-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this podcast and email do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.