Americans with Disabilities Act Your Rights as an Individual with a Disability Robin A. Jones, Director DBTAC-Great Lakes ADA Center Department on Disability.
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Americans with Disabilities Act Your Rights as an Individual with a Disability Robin A. Jones, Director DBTAC-Great Lakes ADA Center Department on Disability and Human Development University of Illinois at Chicago
Overview of the ADA Title I – Employment Private employers 15 or more Government employers 1 or more Title II – State and Local Governments Public schools Public Transportation Title III – Places of Public Accommodation Private schools Title IV – Telecommunication Title V - Miscellaneous
General Provisions Integration versus Segregation Equal Opportunity to Participate (eligibility criteria) Modification of Policy and Procedure to ensure fair/equal treatment Accessibility of Physical Environment Auxiliary Aids and Services (Braille, Interpreters, Readers, etc.)
Who is Covered? Anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities Anyone with a record of such an impairment Anyone who is regarded as having such an impairment Individuals associated with persons with disabilities (i.e. spouse, child, etc.)
Qualified Individual with a Disability Individual with a disability who has the prerequisite skills and experience for the position they desire to hold or currently hold and are able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
Disclosure of Disability No disclosure of a disability is required unless a request for a reasonable accommodation is made Responsibility on the individual with a disability to disclose the need for an accommodation Employer not required to second guess the need for an accommodation
Not a defense…. My disability made me do it! Disclosure of the need for an accommodation should occur when you believe that your performance is impacted by your disability and an accommodation would enable you to do your job No need to tell employer anything unless you need an accommodation
Confidentiality Information regarding presence of disability and documentation should be limited to “need to know” basis Faculty or supervisors do not need to know the specifics of the condition unless there is potential “direct threat” present
What is Covered? Recruitment Application Process Interview Examinations for employment (medical/agility/personality, etc.) Pay Training Benefits of Employment Promotion Layoff/firing
Job Applications No medical questions allowed How many “sick days” did you take in your last job? Have you ever been treated for a mental illness? Do you have a disability? Do you take any medications? Do you need a reasonable accommodation? Have you ever filed for or received Worker’s Compensation?
Job Interviews No Medical Questions allowed Similar to what is prohibited on the job application May do drug testing for “Illegal Drugs” May ask questions directly related to “doing the job” or how the job might be done May do testing during this process Personality profile Reading/Typing/Math, etc.
Conditional Offer of Employment May do medical testing Must be same as all applicants in same position No limit to what they can do May require medical profile Questions regarding history, use of medications, etc. all permitted during this stage
Withdrawal of the job offer at this stage must be based on “direct threat” or the inability to provide a reasonable accommodation Direct Threat must be “real” and not speculative Employer has the burden to prove that the individual is a direct threat which is very high threshold.
Once on the Job….. No medical inquiry unless consistent with business necessity Maintain certain licenses, certification, etc. Return to work following injury/illness (Fitness for duty) Following an accident or other incident where policy requires medical inquiry (presence of alcohol, drugs, etc.) Participation in wellness or other health promotion activities sponsored by employer must be voluntary
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION Modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things usually are done.
A Reasonable Accommodation Is: A modification or adjustment to allow for equal access to the job application and interview process; A modification or adjustment to the work environment or the way things are customarily done; A modification or adjustment that enables employee to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
What might be reasonable? Modified Work Schedule ½ time versus full time Extended breaks More frequent breaks Modification of Policy and Procedure Allow to use accrued time to manage disability related issues Sick versus vacation time, comp.time, etc.
Leave for medical treatment Modify when tasks are completed AM versus PM Provide written versus verbal instructions Provide more frequent feedback regarding performance Altered physical environment Quiet work area to reduce distractions Parking space near entrances Anxiety, etc.
Area to lay down or rest during the work day due to drowsiness caused by medications, etc. Area to store medications and/or administer medications Use of Equipment Tape recorder Headphones to play “white noise” or to reduce influence of external noise
Reasonable Accommodation Does Not Include: Elimination of an essential function Lowering production standards Provision of personal use items Provision of “light duty” position
Resources for More Information Great Lakes ADA Center 800-949-4232 http://www.adagreatlakes.org Equal Employment Opportunity Comm. 800-669-4000 http://www.eeoc.gov
More Resources Job Accommodation Network (JAN): 800-526-7234 http://www.jan.wvu.edu Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP): 202-376-6200 www.dol.gov/dol/odep/