As a piece of civil rights legislation, the ADA addresses three objectives: "And now I sign legislation, which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has, for too many generations, separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse, but not grasp. Once again, we rejoice as this barrier falls, proclaiming together we will not accept, we will not excuse, we will not tolerate discrimination in America...Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." Source: Remarks of President George Bush at the signing of the ADA, July 1990
The ADA calls for nondiscrimination against Americans with disabilities in five areas:
Title I – Employment
Title II – Public Services
Title III – Public Accommodations
Title IV – Telecommunications
Title V – Miscellaneous Provisions
Title I - Who is an "Individual with a Disability" and a "Qualified Individual with a Disability" Two definitions "individual with a disability" and "qualified individual with a disability" are key to the Title I (employment) provisions of the ADA. Who is an "individual with a disability?" Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Note: Diagnosis of an impairment does NOT necessarily mean a disability. Title I - Employment
A “qualified individual with a disability” is someone who meets the essential eligibility requirements for a program, service or activity with or without (1) reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or procedures; (2) removal of physical and communication barriers; and (3) providing auxiliary aids or services for effective communications. Qualified Individual
Request for accommodation must be initiated by the employee with a disability
Large responsibility placed on individual with a disability
Personal services are not accommodations
Team effort that includes supervisors, human resources, and employee
a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. Determination Each request is handled individually. There are no per se disabilities.
Reasonable Accommodations Modifications or adjustments to a job, employment practice, or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. Undue hardship will not be imposed on the employer.
Title II- Public Services Covers State & local governments Must provide program access and effective communication Includes public transportation