What is the Americans with disabilities act (ADA)?

It is very important that everyone becomes aware of what this law entails. I believe it is a responsibility and a civic duty for all Americans to be treated equal without regard to their physical or mental health conditions. In a nutshell the ADA or Americans with disabilities act is a civil rights law that was passed and became effective in 1990 which prohibits discrimination against people who are disabled in all areas of public life, jobs, schools, transporations, etd.

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The ADA creates a protected class called “qualified individuals with disabilities”. What does this phrase means and how does one qualifies for protection. 


There are many people who are disabled with one ailment or another but who can still be productive if given an employment opportunity. Disability here is defined under the ADA rule to include: Physical or mental impairments that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment as well as being regarded as having such an impairment (Walsh, David J., 2012). 

The ADA act is to protect the disabled individuals from discrimination. There are important things that need to be met for the ADA act, first the person must be disabled and fall into the definition of disability as stated above. This implies that the persons have a physical or mental impairment that greatly limits one or more major of their life functions, they have a record of impairment or they are regarded as having an impairment.  

When the individuals have been established as disabled then they also need to be qualified for the job they are seeking. This implies that they are able to perform the essential functions of the job they are seeking with or without reasonable accommodation by the employer. A qualified individual with disability should satisfy the skills, education, experience, and other job-related requirements for the job held or sought (Walsh, David J., 2012). It is important to know that a disabled person is regarded as qualified even if he/she cannot perform all of the job functions as long as they can accomplish the essential functions of the job. The unessential functions of the job are irrelevant as far as the ADA law is concerned. If the employer is to provide accommodation for the disabled employee, the accommodation should be reasonable in that it shouldn't cause the employer undue hardship.

The last important thing that needs to be satisfied is that the disabled person is not a direct threat to their own health and safety or that of other individuals while performing the job they are hired. Any threat that cannot be eliminated by reasonable employer accommodation is not considered qualified.


Walsh, David J., Employment Law For Human Resource Practice, 4th edition, 2012

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