This year marks the 25-year anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities in all public and private places that are open to the general public. You are protected by the law in places such as jobs, schools and transportation. The goal of the law is to make sure that you have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Employment

Dec 3, 2014

This year marks the 25-year anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities in all public and private places that are open to the general public. You are protected by the law in places such as jobs, schools and transportation. The goal of the law is to make sure that you have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life. In this blog post, we'll examine Title I, which deals with employment.

The idea behind Title I is that people with disabilities who want to work and are qualified to work must have an equal opportunity to work. Employers with 15 or more employees must follow this law. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A "reasonable accommodation" is a change that allows someone with a disability to do their job duties without causing the employer "undue hardship" (too much difficulty or expense). Accommodations may include supports such as assistive technology, changes to work settings or adjusted work schedules.

There are many myths about what the ADA requires of employers. For example, some people think that under the ADA, employers must give special treatment to people with disabilities. This is not true. The ADA is not affirmative action. If you or someone you know has a disability, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. You must be qualified to perform the required duties of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected from job discrimination by the ADA. Therefore, you must meet the employer's requirements for the job such as education, employment experience or skills.

This portion of the law is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Find answers to frequently asked questions about the law here, or by contacting the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 and 1-800-669-6820 (TTY).

For free resources about workplace accommodations, the ADA and related laws, visit the Job Accommodations Network (JAN) website. You can also call them by phone at 1-800-526-7234 and 1-877-781-9403 (TTY).

 

This post was written based on resources from the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. For more ADA information, visit their website at http://www.adainfo.org/.