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The Illinois ADA Project at Equip for Equality Presents

The Illinois ADA Project at Equip for Equality Presents

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The Illinois ADA Project at Equip for Equality Presents

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  1. The Illinois ADA Project at Equip for EqualityPresents REQUESTING AN ACCOMMODATION AT WORK AND COLLEGE

  2. Equip For Equality:Protection and Advocacy • Mission:To advance the human and civil rights of people with physical & mental disabilities • Most Services are Free and Confidential • Equip For Equality Services Include:  Self-Advocacy Assistance  Information & Referral  Public Policy Advocacy  Training & Education  Abuse/Neglect Investigations  Latino Outreach  Traumatic Brain Injury Project  Legal Advocacy  Special Education Issues  Guardianship Reform  Assistive Technology Project  Illinois ADA Project

  3. The Illinois ADA Project at Equip For Equality Your Resource for Information on The ADA Goal: To educate, enrich, and enlighten the people, businesses, and organizations of Illinois regarding the ADA. Project Funding: The Illinois ADA Project is funded by The Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center. The Illinois ADA Project Steering Committee: Individuals with disabilities, advocates, service providers, government agencies, and businesses.

  4. Trainings • The ADA in the Real World (Overview) • Employment Rights • Employing People with Disabilities, It’s Good Business • The ADA and Supreme Court • Transportation • Voting • Emerging Issues Breaking Down Barriers to Understanding The ADA

  5. Contacting The Illinois ADA Project Contact The Illinois ADA Project if You: • Have ADA Questions • Want to schedule a training for your organization or group • Desire ADA information and/or resources • Contact Information: Telephone: 1-877-ADA-3601 TTY: 1-800-610-2779 Website:

  6. The Training Institute at Equip For Equality Provides Free Training to people with disabilities and their family, friends, employers, and service providers regarding:  Legal Rights  Self-Advocacy  The A.D.A. (Titles I,II&III) Special Education  Transportation  Guardianship  Employment Rights  Practical Advice

  7. PABSS: A Blue Ribbon Project PABSS Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security PABSS Provides Education, Training, and Advocacy on: • Social Security Benefits & Work Incentives Information • Obtaining Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DRS) • Using the Ticket to Work • Employment Laws (A.D.A. & F.M.L.A.) • School to Work Transition Issues • Any Employment Barrier

  8. Laws Regarding Disability Discrimination In the Beginning…

  9. In the Beginning… Do not curse the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind… 3300 Years Ago Leviticus 19:14:

  10. … And More Recently 30 Years Ago The Rehabilitation Act • Creates a right to receive vocational rehabilitation; • Prohibits discrimination by federal funding recipients 30 Years Ago Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) • Creates a right to receive a free and appropriate public education; 13 Years Ago The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) • Provides equal opportunity and access in employment, governmental services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. This includes private and public places of education.

  11. The Rehabilitation Act An Individual’s Right to Receive Vocational Rehabilitation Services

  12. Vocational Rehabilitation Services DRS provides the following work-related services for individuals with disabilities: • Career counseling, job placement, and job training • Supported employment services such as a job coach • Interpreters, note takers, readers, attendants, ... • Occupational licenses, tools, and equipment • Technological aids and devices • Home and vehicle modifications • Medical Services including attendants • Financial assistance with school, equipment, or training • DRS can help with providing reasonable accommodations

  13. The Rehab Act: Benefiting Employers & Employees Utilizing The Rehabilitation Act and the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services: • DRS provides free advice regarding reasonable accommodations. (As does the Illinois ADA Project, Equip for Equality, EEOC, and JAN). • DRS can pay all or part of the cost of reasonable accommodations (e.g. computer hardware or software) • If DRS pays, the employee or student owns the accommodation • SSA may help an employee or student save for an accommodation or other employment goal through PASS Plans

  14. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA in the Real World

  15. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA has 5 different Sections called “Titles” • Title I – Employment • Title II – State and Local Government Services / Public Transportation • Title III – Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities • Title IV – Telecommunications • Title V – Technical Assistance and Miscellaneous Provisions

  16. Goals of The ADA • Eliminate discrimination • Ensure that people with disabilities experience: • Equality of opportunity • Full participation and integration • Independence • Remove barriers to access. Barriers can be attitudinal, architectural, communicative, or transportational in nature. • Provide clear, strong, enforceable standards • FAIRNESS !!

  17. Title I of the ADA The ADA in the Workplace

  18. Employers Covered by the ADA • Employers with 15 or more employees • All State and local government employers with at least one employee • Local laws may cover smaller private employers (For example, The Illinois Human Rights Act and The Cook County and Chicago Human Rights Ordinances cover all employers with one or more employee)

  19. Protected Individuals An employee is protected under the ADA if they: • Have a substantial limitation of a major life activity • Major life activities include: Breathing, walking, lifting, working, speaking, hearing, seeing, eating, caring for oneself, interacting with others, sex, sleeping, sitting, concentrating, performing manual tasks, learning, standing, reading, reaching, … • Are qualified to do the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation • Also covered are people who: • Have a record of such an impairment; • Are “regarded as” having such an impairment. • Disability is decided on a case by case basis and requires an individualized assessment

  20. Workplace Protections Under The ADA Discrimination is prohibited in any facet of employment, including: • Job application procedures • Hiring / Firing • Benefits and Compensation • Advancement • Training • Any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment

  21. Prohibited Conduct by Employers • Pre-Offer: Asking disability related questions. An employer may ask about performance of job functions but cannot request a medical examination or ask for information about: • Worker’s Compensation Claims • Reasons for time off from work • Medical Treatment, Conditions, or Medications • At all times, an employer is prohibited from: • Denying a Reasonable Accommodations • Otherwise discriminating in any facet of employment on the basis of disability, whether or not the discrimination is intentional.

  22. Medical Examinations Prior to A Job Offer Are Prohibited • Certain tests are not considered medical exams, and are not prohibited by ADA • Medical exams must be: • Given to all applicants for the position • Decisions denying employment based upon medical information must be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” • An employer cannot withdraw a job offer unless the disability interferes with essential functions of the job or results in an a health or safety risk and a reasonable accommodation cannot be provided

  23. Title I of the ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Other Issues

  24. Reasonable Accommodation Any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that allows a person to: • Participate in the job application process • Perform “Essential Functions” of the job • Fundamental Job Duties • An employer cannot refuse to employ someone because of inability to perform non-essential duties • Job descriptions may be used as evidence but are not necessarily determinative • Enjoy benefits and privileges of employment

  25. Examples of Reasonable Accommodations • Accommodations as part or emergency evacuation procedures (Disclosure, alarms, changing offices, …) • Providing or modifying equipment or devices • Job restructuring • Part-time or modified work schedules • Job reassignment • Modifying exams, training, or policies • Providing readers and interpreters • Making the workplace accessible • Utilize the employee’s ideas and the Job Accommodation Network

  26. Reasonable Accommodation Requirements and Limits • Reasonable Accommodations must be provided unless there’s an undue hardship or a health and safety risk to the employee or to others • An undue hardship is defined as requiring significant difficulty or expense • Employers must provide an effective accommodation, not necessarily the exact accommodation requested • Fundamental alterations are not required • Personal Devices or Services are not required

  27. Reasonable Accommodation:Responsibility of Employees The Employee usually makes the request for a reasonable accommodation • The request need not be in writing but it is in everybody’s interest to have the request written, dated, and signed • The request should include: • Nature of the disability • Reason for the request • Requested accommodation • If possible, include a doctor’s note explaining the disability and accommodation

  28. ADA Review - Reasonable Accommodations • Reasonable Accommodations must be provided unless they: • Are an undue hardship • Pose a health or safety risk to the employee or others • Constitute a fundamental alteration of the job • An effective accommodation, not necessarily the requested accommodation, must be provided. • Employers may request medical information only to substantiate the employee’s disability and their need for an accommodation.

  29. Employment Application And Interview Tips • An individual does not have to disclose a disability unless: • They need a reasonable accommodation • They have received a conditional offer of employment • It may help them get the job • How to deal with inappropriate questions – DO NOT LIE! • On the application, leave it blank (get an extra copy) • On the interview, say, “I do not answer questions about private matters unrelated to the job. I would be happy to discuss my qualifications for this job.” • “I took time off to handle a private family matter.”

  30. Tips For Requesting A Reasonable Accommodation • Put your request in writing • If possible include a letter from your doctor describing your disability and the reasons for the requested accommodation • Ask for a response by a specific date • Keep a copy of the letter • If the accommodation is provided, send a “Thank You” letter • Check the Illinois ADA Project, EFE, and JAN Websites

  31. The Reasonable Accommodation Process • An employee, or someone on their behalf, usually makes the initial request for an accommodation. After that, the employer may ask the employee for documentation describing the impairment and how it relates to the reasonable accommodation request if the impariment is not readily apparent. The employer may request information relating to: • The nature, severity, and duration of the impairment • The activity or activities that the impairment limits • The extent to which the impairment limits the employee's ability to perform the activity or activities • How the impariment relates to the requested accommodation

  32. The Reasonable Accommodation Process • The employer is NOT entitled to request information regarding: • General medical information • Medical conditions or impairments unrelated to the reasonable accommodation request

  33. The Reasonable Accommodation Process; Step by Step • Step 1: The Request for a Reasonable Accommodation • Step 2: The employer may seek limited medical information if the need for the accommodation and/or the disability apparent. This documentation should be limited in scope to coincide with the accommodation request • Step 3: The “Interactive Process.” Does the employer agree that the accommodation is reasonable and effective? Do other possible accommodations need to be examined?

  34. The Reasonable Accommodation Process Step by Step • Step 4: Utilize available resources in determining an effective accommodation (e.g. EEOC, JAN, DRS, others). • Step 5: If an effective, reasonable accommodation is agreed upon, it should be implemented and there should be follow-up to ensure its effectiveness

  35. Pre-Employment Accommodations • Application/Interview Process • Providing someone to read or interpret application materials • Demonstrating, rather than describing what the job requires • Modifying tests, training materials, testing time, and/or policy manuals • Replacing a written test with a more extensive interview which allows the individual to demonstrate their knowledge/skills at the work site • Allowing individual to have a support person present during the interview

  36. Employment Accommodations • To do the job: • Job restructuring • Shifting/changing non-essential job functions to other employees • Learning the job • Supervisor break job tasks into sequential steps • Additional time to complete training • Provide instructions at a slower pace (not everything at the same time, etc.) • Use pictures, charts, colors, etc. as cues

  37. Employment Accommodations • Job Coach • An employer is probably not required to provide a job coach throughout employment process but would need to consider as part of learning the job • Employer must consider allowing a Job Coach to work with the employee and modify policy if necessary (i.e. Allow non-employee in restricted areas, etc.) • Use of internal supports for employee (assign staff to work one-on-one when learning new tasks and to serve as support to the staff person)

  38. Employment Accommodations • Modified Work Schedule • Allow flexibility in schedule based on use of public transportation or side effects of medication, etc. • Flexible arrival/departure times • Break periods for rest/taking medications, etc. • Allow time off or adjustment in schedule to attend counseling, treatment or other meetings related to the disability • Part Time versus Full Time if reasonable

  39. Employment Accommodations • Acquisition or Modification of Equipment or Devices • Tape recorder to record/review instructions • Large button telephone • PDA (Personal digital assistant) to allow for supervisor to record instructions or use of video to demonstrate tasks that can be retrieved by employee when needed during course of work day • Use of color to mark files/bins/controls • Simplified instructions using diagrams, etc. for operating machinery

  40. Employment Accommodations • Modification of Supervisory Process • Review tasks to be completed on daily basis and provide in writing versus orally • Supervisor providing a demonstration of what needs to be done versus describing orally what the employee is expected to do • More frequent feedback regarding performance • Allowing individual to bring someone to support them during review of performance or disciplinary meetings

  41. Employment Accommodations • Modification of Policy/Procedure • Workplace conduct rules • Modify those that are not job related and consistent with business necessity • Never required to tolerate violent or abusive behaviors that are inconsistent with uniformly applied conduct rules

  42. The Family Medical Leave Act The FMLA, Family Values, and Disability

  43. Reasons for FMLA Leave Covered employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of medical leave for any of the following reasons: • The birth and care of a newborn child • Placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care; • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a “serious health condition.”

  44. FMLA Leave FMLA Leave Provides: • Up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period (The 12 weeks may be taken intermittently) • Maintenance of Health Care Coverage • Job Protection • FMLA Leave is usually unpaid

  45. FMLA – Employee Coverage The Employee (Worker) must meet all of these conditions to be protected by the FMLA: • Working at a covered employer • Worked for the employer for 12 months. (The 12 months do not have to be consecutive) and • Performed 1250 hours of work during those 12 months

  46. FMLA – ADA Interplay As a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA, FMLA Leave may be: • Extended beyond 12 weeks • Given to an employee who is otherwise not eligible under the FMLA and/or • Given as paid leave

  47. Confidentiality • All information about disability and accommodations must be kept in a separate medical file, not the personnel file. • Information can be available to supervisors and management personnel on a need to know basis

  48. Harassment • Pervasive or severe and affecting a term, condition, or privilege of employment • Employer knew or should have known, and failed to take remedial action • Based on disability

  49. Other Issues • Harassment • Employer required to maintain harassment free workplace for all employees • Disability awareness training may be necessary to address attitudes, stereotypes, etc. of other employees • Employer is responsible to actions taken in the workplace by other employees and can be held accountable for harassment based on disability

  50. ADA – Emerging Issues • Disability Harassment • Working at home as a reasonable accommodation • Requirements to be “Whole” or “100% Healed to Return to Work • Temporary Workers • Websites • Harassment by co-workers and/or supervisors • Retaliation