ADA Essay Research Paper The Americans with

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ADA Essay, Research Paper The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to provide equal access and opportunity for the more than forty-three million disabled Americans living in the United States. On July 26, 1990, President Bush signed into law the ADA. The world?s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities, this event was a historical benchmark and a milestone in America?s commitment to full and equal opportunity for all citizens. The President?s directive on that day was, ?Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down? ( n.a. no author. gopher://trace.wisc.edu/00/ftp/PUB/TEXT/ADA_INFO/HANDBOOK/PREAMBLE .TXT). The ADA entitles disabled citizens to legal protection, equal

opportunity, and access to all jobs. Who does the ADA protect? It protects any individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of a person, or a record of this impairment, or being regarded as having such impairment. The following are examples of individuals who qualify under the ADA: those who are blind, in a wheel chair, facially disfigured; however, the less apparent disabilities are hearing loss, mental illness, and Aids. In addition, successfully rehabilitated drug users or alcoholics are also protected (n.a. no author. gopher://trace.wisc.edu/00/ftp/PUB/TEXT/ADA_INFO/HANDBOOK/FREG1.TXT.). Since 1990, there has been a sweeping forbiddance of discrimination against qualified disabled individuals in hiring,

promotions, termination, job application procedures, compensation, and job training, and other terms of employment. A disabled individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. An employer who refuses to make a reasonable accommodation, and thereby denies an employment opportunity to a qualified but disabled individual, is guilty of unlawful discrimination under the ADA (Wells 70-80). What exactly constitutes a reasonable accommodation is unclear. However, the ADA indicates that the removal or architectural barriers and other changes to make a workplace readily accessible fall under accommodation for the disabled. In addition, the following list also falls under reasonable accommodations: 

restructuring jobs  offering part-time or modified work schedules,  reassignment to a vacant position  purchasing of special equipment or job aids  making appropriate adjustments or modifications to examinations and test, training materials, and policies  providing a qualified reader or interpreter Other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities may also be required. However, the law does not require an accommodation that would cause an undue hardship on the employer or cause the environment to be unsafe (n.a. no author. gopher://trace.wisc.edu/00/ftp/PUB/TEXT/ADA_INFO/HANDBOOK/HACT.TXT). What is defined as an undue hardship is also unclear, but it is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense. There is not a dollar amount

defined by the ADA. How the ADA determines if expense was an undue hardship is by evaluating the overall financial resources of the facility, number of employees, the effect on expenses and resources, and the overall impact of such an accommodation upon the operation of the facility. As anyone can see, undue hardship is very vague and unclear. The judicial courts on a case by case basis can only define and determine it. Since 1990, there have been thousands of ADA lawsuits filed by American citizens. Some of the lawsuits are obvious cases of discrimination that have resulted in favorable verdicts worth millions of dollars. On the other hand, there have been thousands of questionable lawsuits, which have also had favorable verdicts. These questionable lawsuits have also cost