Lex Frieden is Professor of Health Informatics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and he is adjunct Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. Mr. Frieden also directs the ILRU – Independent Living Research Utilization Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston. ILRU is a research, training and technical assistance program on independent living for people with disabilities and older adults.
Mr. Frieden has served as chairperson of the National Council on Disability, president of Rehabilitation International, and chairperson of the American Association of People with Disabilities. He is recognized as one of the founders of the independent living movement by people with disabilities in the early 1970’s, and he was instrumental in conceiving and drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
A graduate of Tulsa University, Mr. Frieden has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. He holds a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Houston where he completed doctoral requirements in rehabilitation psychology, and he has been awarded an honorary doctorate in law (LL.D.) by the National University of Ireland. He has been the University of Texas Chancellors Fellow on Disability, and he has received two Presidential Citations for his work in the field of disability. He was awarded the 2017 Fries Prize for Human Improvement.
Much of of Frieden’s work has focused on improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities through education, job training, equal opportunity and affirmative action. To honor his work in this area, the Texas Governor’s Committee on Disabilities has named their annual awards program the Lex Frieden Employment Awards. Frieden has tirelessly led efforts to eliminate disincentives to work. He has written numerous reports on the subject and served on many committees and study groups. He was a chief proponent and helped to craft Section 1619 of the Social Security Act as well as the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 19
Mr. Frieden is the author of more than 100 published contributions to the literature. He has given more than 1,000 lectures and presentations at events throughout the US and internationally. He is currently leading a national research study to evaluate the impact of the ADA and to identify population group disparities related to employment, transportation, housing and community living.