Americans with Disabilities Act
Intro | Purpose | Types
of Discrimination | Employers' Responsibilities
| Public Accessibility | Flaws
of the Act |
An act that helps people with disabilities is the Americans
with Disabilities Act. This act covers discrimination
relating to employment, barriers in public accommodations, transportation,
telecommunications, and government services. This civil rights law was
enacted in 1990, but adjustments have since been made since that time.
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The main purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
is to protect against employment discrimination. Employers, employment
agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor management committees are
all prohibited from discriminating against a person because of a disability.
The EEOC, or Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, is the federal agency that is responsible
for overseeing employment discrimination. It also enforces the ADA. Many
groups collaborate to help enforce this act.
Types of Employment Discrimination
There are seven different types of employment discrimination:
segregating, and classifying job applicants and employees that adversely
affects the disabled.
Entering in contract arrangement that has effect of discriminating against
Implementing administrative procedures or criteria that have the affect
of discriminating against a disabled individual.
Denying a disabled person equal jobs or benefits.
Failing to make reasonable accommodations to allow those with disabilities
to perform their job in the workplace.
Using criteria that screen or tend to screen individuals from the workplace.
Administering employee tests for the purpose or partial purpose of measuring
a job applicant’s disabilities.
Discrimination is not necessarily intentional. Although a person may not
have discriminated on purpose, the person with the disability was nevertheless
the victim of discrimination. Unless the disability is completely obvious,
an employer may require documented proof of the person’s disability.
Although under most circumstances it is necessary to make accommodations,
there are times when this is not true. If the accommodations prove to
cause hardship, extensive difficulty, and expense, the accommodation may
not be required. Accommodations that alter the business are also not required.
Finally, if the handicapped applicant/worker is not able to perform the
job, it is not necessary to hire him or her. The Americans with Disabilities
Act does not protect all incapable people. The ADA gives those with a
disability and equal opportunity - not a greater one.
The Americans with Disabilities Act also covers public accessibility.
Title II says that state and other governmental programs must be accessible
to the disabled. Private entities that own, lease, or operate a place
of public accommodation must also be accessible, as listed in Title III.
There are many examples of these private entities: hotels, restaurants,
theaters, stadiums, retail establishments, laundries, gas stations, hospitals,
museums, libraries, places of recreations, private schools, daycare centers,
and health clubs are some of the many entities included in Title III.
These places must provide reasonable modifications for those with disabilities.
Those with disabilities must receive an equal opportunity to achieve the
same results as the non-disabled. For example, if a store associate is
able to tell a blind person the price of an item, the price tag is not
required to have Braille on it. Auxiliary aids are also required and are
flexible. The owner may choose the type of aid as long as it still functions
correctly. Anyone may enforce these provisions. In order to do this, a
person may either file a complaint with the federal agency, U.S. Department
of Justice, or file a federal lawsuit. Public accessibility is very important
to many who are disabled.
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to help with
discrimination, sometimes people are still opposed to this law. Many do
not understand why accessibility changes should be made for some buildings.
There are some places where disabled people rarely go, but these places
are still forced to make adjustments. Many people have complained about
this issue. Some also say that the ADA has not significantly increased
employment rate for those with disabilities. From 1986 to 1993, the employment
rate of the disabled actually dropped 2 percent. Since 1993,there has
been some improvement and opportunities have increased. Discrimination
is a major problem. Many fully functional people feel that they are better
able to perform in jobs than someone else with a disability. Acts and
laws such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities
Act help to alleviate some discrimination, but not all. The people need
to help enforce these laws and be ethical people in order to help solve
the problem of disability discrimination.
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