Americans with Disabilities Act The Americans with Disabilities Act Overview of the ADA of 1990 including its intended purpose, and what governmental agency oversees ADA claims The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990 was enacted by the United States Congress, signed into law by George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990, and amended in 2009 where some changes were introduced to the act. ADA is a civil rights’ law that was intended to check against discrimination that can be encountered by disabled persons in the course of accessing certain services or taking part in day-to-day activities.
It safeguards disabled persons against any form of bias or prejudice with respect to their condition. Whatever falls under category of disability is normally made on case-to-case basis. However, current substance abuse and visual impairment that can be remedied by lenses are not considered as disabilities by the ADA of 1990. The law was initially intended to guarantee civil right protection for people who were permanently disabled and their disabilities could not be reversed or weakened.
The law was enacted enable disable persons access services enjoyed by persons who are not disabled thereby opening their horizons to all types of careers. The drafters wanted the law to be flexible to guard against eminent weakening by future case laws. To enable disabled persons enjoy equal rights with everyone else, President G. W. Bush signed ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) into law on September 2008 (Matt, 1). Title I of the ADA 1990 deals with employment. It empowers people with disability with requisite qualifications to seek for employment in covered entities.
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People with disabilities can be hired, discharged, compensated, and trained just like any other worker without being discriminated. Agencies that are covered by the law include an employment agencies, labor organizations, and labor management committees. As per Title I, discrimination entails restricting job application in a manner contrary to convention, preventing qualified persons people from applying or taking up job opportunities, or making irrational and illegal job requirements to limit persons with disabilities.
If entrance medical examinations have to be done, everybody else should be subjected to the process and the medical records must be treated with a lot of confidentiality. This title does not offer protection to individuals currently engaged in illegal use of drugs (Matt, 1). Title II of the Act deals with Public entities. This title prohibits any form of discrimination that can be met on the people with disability by public entities at local and state levels. Access here implies both physical and pragmatic access.
It is supposed to check against discriminatory policies instituted by such public entities. It applies to public transportation that public entities offer (Matt, 1). Title III captures public accommodation and commercial facilities. The title criminalizes discrimination based on disability with special focus on full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any public accommodation by the proprietors, leasers, or operators. Public accommodation here means recreational facilities, lodgings, transportation, educational, and places of public displays.
Under this title, all new constructions have to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines anchored in the Code of Federal Regulations. This title also applies to existing facilities. Exemptions to the regulation provided in the title include private clubs and religious organizations. However, historical properties and other public and private buildings must comply with the provisions of this title and failure may lead to legal proceedings.
However, if following usual standards threaten to destroy historical significance of the feature of the building, they are under obligation to use other standards (Matt, 2). Title IV of the ADA deals with telecommunications. This title amended the Communications Act of 1934. All telecommunication companies are required to cater for the needs of the disabled especially the deaf and those with speech impairment (Matt, 3). Title V of ADA deals with miscellaneous provisions that are basically technical provisions. It also includes anti-retaliation or coercion provisions.
Many government agencies act in concert to ensure that the ADA of 1990 is implemented. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission presides over employment related ADA provisions. The Department of Transportation regulates statutes related transportation. Other agencies include United States Department of Agriculture, Department of labor, Department of Education, United States Department of Interior, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Federal Communications Commission (Matt, 4).
Statutory definition of "disability" and "reasonable accommodation" under the ADA of 1990 The ADA Act of 1990 defines disability as an impairment that substantially limits major life activity. ADA defines impairment as a physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, anatomical, neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive losses. The Act further defines impairment as a mental or psychological disorder.
Nevertheless, the explanations of impairment under the ADA regulation do not include physical traits, common personality traits, cultural and economic aspects as these elements come naturally and cannot be altered by man (Matt, 1). The Act excludes certain statutory requirements while trying to define disability like those currently using illegal drugs. Emotional acts such as thought, focus, and making contact with others also make up major life activities in reference to the EEOC. The phrase substantially limits features in the ADA definition of disability.
An impairment on qualifies to be a disability if it limits life activities. For an impairment to be referred to as a disability, a person must be meaningfully limited in his or her competency to undertake certain activities relative to the average person drawn from the general public. Some of the very essential aspects to consider in this area are nature and extent of the disability, the time interval that the persons has been disabled, and how the impairment affects the individual’s ability to partake in everyday tasks (Acemoglu and Angrist 920).
Reasonable accommodation in the ADA of 1990 protects persons with disabilities by ensuring that other than provision of physical access to buildings and provision of equal access to programs and services, this category of citizens access auxiliary services, aids, and removal of barriers in public utilities provided that this does not create undue administrative or financial burdens. The ADA 1990 defines reasonable ccommodation to entail “making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible and usable by disabled persons, job restructuring, part time or modified work schedules, re-advertisement to vacant person, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices and appropriate adjustment or modification of examination” (Matt, 5). Discuss the Supreme Court's decisions in Sutton and Toyota Manufacturing In Williams’s case, The Supreme Court visited the question of severity of a condition that qualifies it to be a protected disability.
The Supreme Court held that the employee’s medical condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome was not a disability because it was not substantially limiting. It was further stated that for an impairment to be referred to as a disability, it has to prevent or severely restrict a person from undertaking in tasks that are of essential value to a person in everyday life. The court underscored the need for strict interpretation of the phrase ‘’substantially limits. ’ The ruling in Williams’s case brought into fore the inability of ADA to accommodate cases characterized by dismissal of many disability cases (Raddatz, 2). In Sutton v. United Airlines, the plaintiff sued for discriminative acts by a potential employer. In the case, the plaintiffs were two twin myopic sisters who had applied for employment as commercial pilots but their request was rejected because they did not attain the minimum value for uncorrected eyesight.
The Supreme Court held that the question of whether somebody is disabled and thus be protected by ADA must be looked at with reference to all mitigating measures. For instance, if a person is severely limited in undertaking day-to-day activities without medical intervention but is only slightly limited to undertaking these tasks after medical interventions, the medical intervention serves to negate the impairment from being referred to as a disability as outlined in the ADA (Raddatz, 1). The ADAAA of 2008 including its intended purpose and significant changes from the ADA of 1990
The ADAAA 2008 is an Act of the Congress that went into operation on January 1, 2009. It amended the ADA of 1990 and other nondiscrimination laws that were drafted for the good of people with disability at state and federal levels. The amendment was introduced with respect to myriad Supreme Court rulings on ADA 1990. THE Supreme Court decisions were viewed by the members of the United States Congress as limiting the rights of people with disabilities (Schall, pp. 192). The ADAAA indeed reversed those decisions.
With respect to ADA Title I, ADAAA changed the definition of disability. It clarified and broadened its definition. One notable contribution of this amendment is to take into consideration of both the employer and employee. With ADAAA 2008, courts are expected to interpret ADA and other Federal disability non-discrimination laws and determine whether the covered entity has discriminated. This law preserves the original meaning definition of law as written in the ADA but alters the way that statutory term should be construed (Matt, 5).
Legal analysis of Billy and Mandy's requests applying both the ADA and ADAAA Based on the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, Mandy’s request should not be honored because she is not substantially limited in her daily activities without using medical interventions like consulting an optician to initiate corrective measures to remedy far sightedness. However, with the ADAAA, her request should be granted because the Act prohibits consideration of medication and low vision devices in determining whether a condition is a disability.
Billy Beer’s request has to be granted because according to the Reasonable Accommodation and from the definition of disability in Title I, Billy’s condition is covered and indeed considered a disability. Moreover, ADAAA prioritizes discrimination initiated by covered entity as opposed to whether the person seeking protection under law has impairment that fits the statutory definition of disability. Works Cited Acemoglu, Daron and Angrist, Joshua D. Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Journal of Political Economy 109(6), 2001, 915–957. Matt, Susan. Reasonable Accommodation: What does the Law Really Require. Journal of the Association of Medical Professionals with hearing Loses, 1(1), 2003, 1-13 Raddatz, Alissa. ADA Amendments overrule Supreme Court Decisions on What Constitutes Disability. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2011. Schall, Carol M. The Americans with Disabilities Act—Are We Keeping Our Promise? An Analysis of the Effect of the ADA on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 10(9), 1998, 191-203.
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