The intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to prevent discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in employment, public services, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunication services.
What the ADA means to organizations and their managers is that they can no longer screen out individuals with disabilities in the hiring process, nor can they discriminate in any area of employment, including compensation, promotions, benefits, or firing. Organizations will no longer be able to conduct pre-employment inquiries into the nature of an applicant's disability. Organizations must be aware of physical barriers into their work environment, as well as provide up-to-date relevant job descriptions to their workers.
No, the law states that employers should hire the best qualified candidate for the position... regardless of whether or not the person has a disability.
D. Important ADA Definitions
1. Qualified Candidate: Can perform essential functions alone or with reasonable accommodation.
2. Essential functions: What an individual must be able to do to hold a specific position, with or without accommodation. The tasks are inherent in the position and specialized skills are required to perform the tasks. Only a limited number of employees can perform these tasks.
3. Marginal functions: Tasks that can be easily transferred to another employee without hurting the employer's business.
The ADA focuses on job performance and not marginal duties in determining what is an essential job function.
3. Reasonable accommodation: Making a change, through technology, time, etc., so that qualified persons with disability can participate.
4. Undue hardship: The accommodation(s) would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or would change essential functions.
5. Disability can mean any of the following:
Examples of Major Life Activities:
Seeing; Hearing; Speaking;
Breathing; Walking; Learning;
Ability to Work; Performing manual tasks;
Caring for self
b. A record of such impairment.
c. Being regarded as having such an impairment.
6. Those Excluded:
|Title I...Employment||Protects applicants and employees in private sector and state and local government agencies with 15 or more employees.|
|Title II...Public Services||Protects applicants and employees in small state and local government agencies employing fewer than 15 workers. Requires that all state and local government services, programs, and activities be accessible. Targets accessibility in public transportation, such as city buses and commuter trains as well as to AMTRAK, operated by state and local government agencies.|
|Title III...Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities||Targets accessibility in public transportation, such as buses and vans, operated by private entities. Prohibits private businesses and service providers, such as restaurants and banks, from discriminating against, refusing service, or excluding individuals with disabilities. Addresses accessibility in existing and newly constructed/altered public accommodations and commercial facilities. Trade associations or performing artists that lease space for a conference or a performance at a hotel, convention center, or stadium become a public accommodation that must comply.|
|Title IV...Telecommunications||Requires telephone companies to offer 24-hour telecommunications local and long distance relay services to customers who have hearing and speech impairments. Addresses closed captioning of public service announcements.|
|Title V...Miscellaneous||Prohibits retaliation against individuals who exercise their rights under ADA.|
Adapted from: Witt, Melanie Astaire. Job Seeking Strategies for People with Disabilities. Peterson's Guide. 1992.
E. Reasonable Accommodations:
What are Reasonable Accommodations?
Reasonable Accommodations are changes to a job or piece of equipment that enable a person with a disability to perform the essential functions of that particular job. Essentially, they provide individuals who happen to have disabilities with an equal opportunity to compete in the workplace . . . and shop in the marketplace.
Types of Reasonable Accommodation:
What Constitutes an Undue Hardship?
Auxiliary Aids and Services
Use "Examples of Disabilities, Possible Access Issues, & Accommodations" to help you with possible accommodations. In addition, think of accommodations that you use at home and at school such as a tape recorder, scribe, or TDD, that are also used at work. Resources for locating appropriate accommodations are listed further.
Area: Accommodation: ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ___________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________
|Disability||Possible Access||Possible Solutions|
|Blind & vision Impaired (include not only those who are totally blind, but also those with limited vision|
|Deaf & Hearing Impaired (including not only those persons who are totally deaf, but also those with limited hearing)||Information obtained through:
2. Warning devices(e.g., fire alarms, public address systems)
3. Equipment operating noises
3. Operating instructions
|Difficulty with Upper Body Movement (including not only those persons who have limited use of arms, shoulder; persons who use wheelchairs or crutches; people of short stature; those who cannot perform certain hand movements, or have difficulty controlling movement)||Difficulty operating (or locating or reaching) certain hardware:
1. Hand controls on doors
2. Toilet room fixtures
3. Water fountains
5. Vending machines
6. Light fixtures
|Mobility Impairments (including those persons having difficulties, stamina limitations, as well as those who use wheelchairs and crutches||
1. Curbs, walks, unleveled surfaces
2. Carpeting, Textured title supports
1. Install ramps
2. Widen doorways
Additional resources may be available at the federal, state, and local level. See Telephone Numbers for ADA Information.
Try answering the following questions:
File Complaints with the Following Agencies:
Title I: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Title II & Title III: Department of Justice Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Title II & Title III: Department of Transportation
Title III: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Title IV: Federal Communications Commission
To guarantee federal protection, file a charge within 180 days of a discriminatory event.
Complaint should be made in writing, signed by the complainant or an authorized representative. The complaint must contain the complainant's name and address and a description of the discrimination.
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Office on Americans With Disabilities Act
The agencies and organizations listed are sources for obtaining information about the law's requirements and informal guidance in understanding and complying with the ADA. They are not, and should not be viewed as, sources for obtaining legal advice or legal opinions about your rights or responsibilities under the ADA.
For your convenience, the numbers for reaching these offices by both voice telephone and TDD telephone devices (also called text telephones) are listed. A directory indicating which agencies and organizations to call for information on the different provisions of the ADA is attached.
American Foundation for the Blind
800/638-8255 (voice) Association
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States
(tell operator you would like to place a collect call to 817/277-0553)
Association on Handicapped Student Service Programs in Post secondary Education
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
For questions and documents
Alternate number for ordering documents (print and other formats)
Federal Communications Commission
For ADA documents and general information
ext. 703/418-2739 (voice)
Technical Assistance and enforcement
Job Accommodation Network
Within West Virginia
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Services
National Center for Law and Deafness
National Council on Disability Information Line: ADA Watch
National Easter Seal Society Project ACTION (Accessible Community Transportation in Our Nation)
National Federation of the Blind
President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities Information Line: ADA Work
The Foundation on Employment and Disability
U.S. Department of Justice ADA Hotline
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Transit Administration (for ADA documents and information)
Office of the General Counsel (for legal questions)
Federal Aviation Administration
Rural Transit Assistance Program (for information and assistance on public Transportation issues)
For ADA information, assistance, and copies of ADA documents supplied by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice, which are available in standard print, large print, audio cassette, Braille, and computer disk:
Toll-free number for reaching any of the following Centers
Region I (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut)
Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico)
Region III (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia)
Region IV (Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida)
Region V (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota)
Region VI (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico)
Region VII (Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas)
Region VIII (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah)
Region IX (Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii, Pacific Basin)
Region X (Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska)