ADA. American with Disabilities Act

Essay by Anonymous UserA, November 1996

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There may be as many as one thousand different disabilities that affect over forty-three million Americans. Of all the laws and regulations governing the treatment of those Americans the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most recent major law. It was passed in 1990 and although it is spelled out in a technical ADA manual that is several hundred pages in length. Two of ADA's two major sections, Titles II and III concern the operation of state and local government and places of public accommodation. They require new public and commercial facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities. Modifications to existing facilities need to be made only if the cost is 'readily achievable' and does not cause an undue financial or administrative burden. This essay will concentrate on Title I, the employment aspects of the law. This section forbids employment discrimination against people with disabilities who are able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

This definition poses three main questions: Who is considered disabled? What is an essential function of a job? What is considered Reasonable Accommodation?

To be protected under the ADA an individual must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activities. The impairment may not be due to environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages. For example a person who cannot read because they have dyslexia is considered disabled but a person who cannot read because they dropped out of school is not. In addition persons who are perceived to be disabled are protected by ADA. For example, if a person were to suffer a heart attack, when he tries to return to work the boss might be scared the workload will be too much and refuse to let him come back. The...