The Americans with Disabilities Act is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the protections have impacted countless employees as they pursue their professional goals. The ADA covers a wide range of employers including all organizations with 15 or more staff members, private companies, governing agencies, and labor unions in the pursuit of equality and access in the workplace.
What kind of help has the ADA provided for workers in their occupations and beyond?
Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination of qualified individuals with disabilities throughout their job application process, training and day-to-day work responsibilities. Disabilities include physical or mental impairments that significantly limit major life activities, and a covered employee would have a record of the condition.
Employees gained the right to an accessible workplace with reasonable accommodations. For example, if employees use a wheelchair, their employer can offer reserved parking and an adjusted desk height to allow them to access the office space and computer equipment safely and effectively.
Job postings typically include anti-discrimination statements to exhibit the protections in place for job seekers. Employers typically include an equal opportunity employer statement in the position description.
Candidates may also have space to disclose their disability in the application, and employers have the responsibility to foster an inclusive and supportive interview process for qualified applicants. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Title I of the ADA, and the U.S. Department of Labor provides publications and assistance with accommodations.
Employees with disabilities have rights before and during their job acquisition. The ADA has ensured this level of care for three decades, and the positive impacts will continue for years to come.