ADA Lecture_1_ UPDATED 09112019.pptx - Americans with...

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) RHAB 3100
Background The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most far-reaching legislation ever passed in the United States where civil rights for persons with disabilities are concerned. The Act offers these persons the promise of equal opportunities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in our society. The inherent principles of the ADA are inclusion and integration. It accomplishes this by addressing the accessibility for persons with disabilities of those things which are of critical importance to most of us: Title I: employment Title II : government services including transportation Title III : public accommodations such as barber shops, theaters, restaurants, doctors' offices, and so on Title IV : communications over the telephone lines Title V : other services such as insurance However, the passage of this Act was realized at a cost and a compromise.
Background Many business groups and citizens complained that if ADA became law, it would bankrupt many businesses, particularly small ones. Therefore, legislators balanced the interests and desires of persons with disabilities with those who own businesses and facilities, through several devices. First legislators in general ensured that the history of discriminatory practices in transportation and public facilities (public buildings), as represented by non- accessible buses, trains, and other vehicles, would end by mandating that future public facilities and transports be made accessible.
Background Second, legislators built into the employment, government services, and public accommodation titles the defense of undue hardship and readily achievable standards. Undue hardship basically means that employers and facility owners would not have to accommodate persons with disabilities in employment if the accommodation would be too difficult or burdensome to achieve. Readily achievable deals with the degree of difficulty in making accessible public accommodations.
Background Third, legislators established the expectation through their reports and through the law itself, that those who provide, own and employ versus those who may be hindered in their attempts to compete with others for the enjoyment of life - conduct their transactions in ways which simultaneously accomplish business ends and "level the playing field" for persons with disabilities. They cited many examples of reasonable accommodations (employment issues) and readily achievable (accessibility to facilities and services) in the House/Senate reports which conveyed their intentions.
Background Last, in view of the fact that over half of persons in the U.S. could be considered as having a disability depending upon the definition used, legislators narrowed the legislation through definitions of disability and their corollary, the "qualified" person with a disability (definitions similar to those used in the Rehabilitation Act). The element of the "qualified" person with a disability basically reaffirmed the prerogatives of employers and service providers in retaining their ability to manage their businesses and institutions.

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