Enactment and effective date. The ADA is a civil rights law that was enacted on July 26, 1990. Why was the ADA needed?. Think back to the year 1990. What was life like for people with disabilities? Hint- Think about the following areas: transportation? employment? discrimination?
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Enactment and effective date The ADA is a civil rights law that was enacted on July 26, 1990.
Why was the ADA needed? • Think back to the year 1990. What was life like for people with disabilities? • Hint- Think about the following areas: • transportation? • employment? • discrimination? • access? • communication?
The Americans with Disabilities Act • Title I: Employment • Title II: Public Services • Title III: Public Accommodations • Title IV: Telecommunications • Title V: Miscellaneous
Key Disability Legislation • Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975 • Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Disability Rights Law An Overview Legal and Political roots of the ADA are deep in the Civil Rights era of the 1960s
Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 • Requires certain federally financed buildings be designed and constructed to be accessible • This is the cornerstone of later efforts to guarantee access in federally funded facilities
ADA Fact In 1990, Congress estimated 43 million Americans had one or more physical or mental disabilities. In the mid-90s that figure was revised to 49 million Americans. Today the estimate is in excess of 51 million
Scope of the ADA • The scope is broad. The rights that are protected are parallel to those protected for women and racial, ethnic and religious minorities.
Scope of ADA In employment, the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in public and private sector employment. This includes a requirement that those employers covered under the Act make “reasonable accommodations.”
Title I- Employment Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment by businesses having 15 or more employees, or by State and local governments.
ADA Fact - Iowa Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment by businesses having 4 or more employees, not 15
Title I Title I, with respect to private employers, is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Definition of Disability • Is based on the definition under the Rehabilitation Act. It reflects the specific type of discrimination experienced by people with disabilities.
Definition of Disability • It is not the same as the definition in other laws such as: • Worker’s Compensation • Social Security • Disabled Veterans
Three Prongs of the Definition • Person with a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities • Person with a record of such a physical or mental impairment • Person who is regarded as having such an impairment
Association • An entity may not discriminate against individual or entities because of their relationship with a person with a disability
Retaliation or Coercion • Retaliation or coercion is prohibited under the ADA
Physical Impairments Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine. (This list is non-exhaustive)
Mental Impairment Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. (This list is non-exhaustive)
First prong: Having a disability that substantially limits a major life activity
Substantially Limits • Means the major life activity is restricted as to the conditions, manner or duration under which it can be performed in comparison to most people.
Three factors to consider • The nature and severity of the condition; • How long it will last or is expected to last; and • Its permanent or long term impact, or expected impact.
Combination of Impairments • An individual may have two or more impairments, neither of which alone constitute a disability, but taken together may be considered disabling.
Temporary Impairments • May or may not be disabilities. • The question is answered by looking at the extent, duration, and impact of the impairment.
Caring for oneself Performing manual tasks Walking Seeing Hearing Speaking Breathing Learning Working Major life activities include:
Bathing Dressing Toileting Sleeping Throwing Using stairs Traveling Attending school Sexual activities Concentrating Reproducing Interacting with others Writing Thinking Squatting Case law around the country has included the following in the list of major life activities:
Sutton v. United Airlines • Court considered whether impairment should be evaluated with regard to mitigating measures or treatment. • Twin female regional airline pilots with myopia sued UAL for not hiring them for their uncorrected vision.
Sutton v. United Airlines (cont.) • Court ruled that ADA requires a present substantial limitation. If corrected, no substantial limitation of major life activity. • Individualized inquiry. Look at the effect of the impairment. • Also look at the negative as well as the positive effects from treatments or mitigating measures.
ADA Fact Substantial limitation is assessed with regard to mitigating measures.
Second prong: A record of having a disability
For example • A history of mental illness • Heart disease • Cancer • An incorrect classification such as mental retardation
Third prong Regarded as having a disability
In other words • A person who is not substantially limited but is treated as such • A person whose substantial limitation is only the result of the attitudes of others • Someone who has no impairment but is treated as such
What does substantial limitation mean? • A person with a substantial limitation is unable to perform a major life activity that a person in the general population could perform • A person is restricted in the condition, manner or duration that the average person can perform the same major life activity
Exclusions • A person who currently illegally uses drugs is not protected by the ADA when the covered entity acts on the basis of such use alone. • However, an individual who is engaged in or has completed drug rehabilitation and is no longer using drugs is protected under the ADA.
Some important distinctions • The use of a drug must be illegal to be exempt from the definition of disability not the substance itself. • Addiction is covered under the definition of disability but not current illegal use. • If a person was addicted in the past or is perceived as addicted they would be covered. • Casual users in the past are not covered.
What about alcoholism? People who abuse alcohol are considered disabled even if they are currently using. A person who is an alcoholic is considered a person with a disability under the ADA.
Exclusions • Homosexuality and Bisexuality; • Transvestitism, transsexuals, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physician impairments, or other sexual behavioral disorders; • Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or • Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
Title I of the ADA • Employment Issues
Qualified Individual • Individual who satisfies the requisite work, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of such position.
Steps to Determine Whether an Individual is Qualified • Determine if the individual meets the necessary prerequisites for the job; and • Determine if the individual can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Essential Functions • The ADA requires that the employer focus on the essential functions of a job to determine whether a person with a disability is qualified.
Reasonable accommodations Employers must make reasonable accommodations to known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would be an undue hardship
Definition of Reasonable Accommodation • Any modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.
Required in three areas • Ensure equal opportunity in application process; • Enable qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and • To enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
Prohibits discrimination in any other terms, conditions and privileges of employment including: Recruitment; Hiring, promotion, tenure; Rates of pay; Job assignments; Leave; Training and development;
Also: Social activities; or Any other term, privilege or condition of employment.
Reasonable Accommodation • Required in three areas • To ensure equal opportunity in the application process; • To enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and • To enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment
What are some forms of reasonable accommodation? Job restructuring Modifying work schedules Making facilities accessible Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices Hiring readers, interpreters and assistants Reassignment to a vacant position