The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed on July 26th, 1990 in order to protect individuals with disabilities in many areas of life including jobs, schools, public or private locations, or transportation.
As we celebrate the ADA’s 29th anniversary, we share with our readers the five sections (“titles”) of the ADA and the impact it has had in ensuring that individuals with disabilities are afforded the same rights as those without disabilities.
Title I: Employment
Title I of the ADA affords individuals with disabilities the same employment opportunities and benefits as those without disabilities as long as the employer in question has at least 15 employees.
“Reasonable accommodations” must be provided to those applicants with disabilities who are otherwise qualified. A “reasonable accommodation” is one that allows the employee to complete the responsibilities of their position without any “undue hardship” to the employer. This means that an employer cannot refuse someone employment that they would otherwise qualify for, just because they have a disability. The same reasoning goes for termination of an employee. An employee cannot be terminated simply because he or she has a disability.
Title II: Public Services – State and Local Government
Title II of the ADA prohibits public entities, such as state and local agencies, from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. This Title requires that these agencies or entities tender services, activities, policies, procedures, and programs that are accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Title III: Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
Individuals with disabilities also have rights in public places, regardless of whether they are privately owned (e.g. restaurants, sports stadiums, and movie theaters). Title III defines the minimum requirements for any new construction and provides that existing public places must remove barriers wherever necessary. These public places are obligated to make “reasonable accommodations” for customers with disabilities, as long as they do not create an undue hardship for the owner.
Title IV: Telecommunications
Title IV requires telephone and internet service companies to offer services that allow for the communication of individuals with speech or hearing impairments. Closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements on TV is just one example.
Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title V of the ADA includes other provisions that focus on the ADA as a whole, such as its relationship to state laws, insurance benefits, retaliation, and more. It also provides a list of which conditions are not considered to be a disability for purposes of this Act.
Our disabilities should not determine our rights. When a business does not comply with the rules of the ADA, an individual with a disability who is involved may have a case. It can be difficult to prove a disability case, which is why it’s helpful to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable disability attorney.
At Freeburn Hamilton, we are proud to fight for those with disabilities and help them get any SSD benefits that they may be entitled. To learn more about your rights or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 717-777-7777 today.